Good piece about the chaos overruling Roe will unleash in Michigan when Roe is overruled later this month, since a draconian ban is still on the books:
Among the factors that could decide which way the state tips in a post-Roe world are two lawsuits filed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Planned Parenthood that ask the state supreme court to decide whether the Michigan constitution protects abortion. There is also a possibility that new district maps, drawn by an independent panel, help Democrats take control of the state legislature for the first time since the early 1980s and pass pro-abortion rights legislation. Meanwhile, volunteers are gathering signatures to put an abortion rights constitutional amendment on the ballot this fall, and Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel — two Democrats who support abortion rights — are up for reelection.
Nessel is vowing not to bring charges against doctors or patients, while her GOP opponent has said he will enforce the state’s ban.
“It’s prosecutorial discretion. I don’t have to enforce those laws. There’s all kinds of laws in the books. Adultery is still a crime here in Michigan, and you know, I haven’t enforced that,” Nessel told POLITICO.
Nessel, though, can’t stop the state’s 83 locally-elected county prosecutors from charging people who provide abortions, and she fears the threat of prosecution will cause doctors to turn patients away even in life-threatening situations that are supposed to be exempt from the ban.
“What type of doctor is going perform an abortion, even under emergency circumstances, if he or she thinks they are going to be criminally charged, and are going to have to defend themselves?” Nessel said. “I worry they’re just going to let the person die on the table. You’re looking at doctors losing their license, you’re looking at insurance carriers dropping that physician. Nobody would risk that.”
One of the most ridiculous arguments made by “moderate” opponents of Roe is that it will remove the judiciary from the abortion issue. In fact state and federal judges are going to have to decide all kinds of messy intrastate and interstate issues with major substantive stakes. Meanwhile, even ambiguously enforceable restrictions are going to have a major chilling effect on the availability of abortion.