Dana Nessel, the Michigan Attorney General, has stated that she outright refuses to call for the enforcement of a state law that bans abortions. She then attempted to go after Republicans, claiming that their pro-life statement and position would only end up putting the lives of Michigan’s women in peril.
As seen via an interview held on Sunday on “Meet the Press” with Chuck Todd, Nessel stated that she refused to enforce a 1931 Michigan law that bans abortions in almost all instances, making the claim that reinstating such a law would only lead to many doctors not giving women any sort of medical care in the event of a miscarriage due to fear of being prosecuted and that because of that it would place the lives of the state’s women in deep peril.
“As attorney general, I have statewide jurisdiction,” claimed Nessel. “And I ran on a platform of understanding that likely during the course of my term, Roe v. Wade would be overturned. And this incredibly draconian and strict 1931 law would criminalize abortion in this state with virtually no exceptions – no exception for rape, for incest, no exception for medical emergencies. And understanding that the lives of our 2.2 million women who are of childbearing age in this state, their lives would be at risk. I refuse to enforce this draconian law that will endanger their lives and put in jeopardy the health, safety and welfare of the lives of each and every woman in the state of Michigan.”
Nessel stated to Todd that such a law does not make any exceptions at all for medical emergencies, but it was reported back in April by Politico: “The Michigan law bans abortion at any stage of pregnancy, with an exception for the health of a woman but not for cases of rape or incest.”
Todd then posed a question about one particular piece of the law that banned the sale of most abortifacient drugs. Nessel then claimed that the law would not only heavily punish abortion and the providers of abortion medications, but would also hurt the women who get them: “we’re talking about not just throwing providers and anybody who works with a provider, under aiding and abetting theories, in prison, but also women themselves, who procured abortion through abortion medication,” she stated.
Todd pressed on then by asking whether the law would ban medical care for any women who miscarry. “Does this [law] mean a doctor cannot perform the procedure that’s necessary, essentially, when you’ve identified a miscarriage? It seems to me that some OBGYNs are going to think they are committing a crime if they essentially just do what most doctors would do right there, which is [Dilation and Curettage].”
Nessel issued a response by making the claim that due to the Dilation and Curettage procedure being the exact same process used to deal with both miscarried and aborted fetuses, the doctors would “be so afraid” of being prosecuted and thrown into a harsh light that the law will have a negative effect on medical care as a whole. “[It] will have a chilling effect, and you won’t have basic medical health care that is required for women not to have extreme health problems or even die,” said Nessel. “Doctors simply are not going to perform those procedures anymore because they don’t want to go to prison for it.”
In the conclusion of the interview, Todd highlighted that Governor Gretchen Whitmer put in place a lawsuit that challenged the law through the Supreme Court of the state, as did Planned Parenthood, and various abortion activists all across the state have created a petition to call for an amendment to the constitution of the state in attempts to codify all abortion rights for the 2022 ballot. “What is the, what is the safest way to protect abortion rights in Michigan right now, of those three paths?” asked Todd.
“Well, firstly, I think each and every eligible voter in the state should be signing on to the you know, Reproductive Rights for All petition, and then coming to the polls and voting on it in November and voting for every pro-choice Democrat up and down the ticket, whether it’s for federal office or for state office,” answered Nessel. She also stated her certainty that the court system would find a ruling in complete favor of abortion.
She then took the opportunity to try and attack Republicans, making the claim that their pro-life stance would only put the lives of many women in danger: “the radical and extremist position of the Republicans in our state and all around the country completely contradicts what the public wants, and it really does place the lives of women in jeopardy,” she stated. “Let’s be clear: women in my state, and in states all over America are going to die because of this position.”