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After an abortion shakeup Monday in Michigan, voters head to the polls Tuesday

In a photo from Jan. 17, 2020, the Michigan Hall of Justice is seen in Lansing, Mich.
Carlos Osorio
In a photo from Jan. 17, 2020, the Michigan Hall of Justice is seen in Lansing, Mich.

Up until Monday in Michigan, the line on abortion rights was clear. The state has a 1931 law that criminalizes abortion that was dormant during Roe v. Wade. In May, a month before the Dobbs decision, a lower court in the state put an injunction on the 1931 law, so it wasn't in effect when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

Monday, the Michigan Court of Appeals issued a ruling saying that injunction does not apply to county prosecutors – so they could enforce the 1931 abortion ban. But because the decision appears to not take effect for 21 days, it allows time for appeals to be filed.

People in the state can still access abortion in the state, but it's a confusing time and some abortion providers aren't completely sure about where things stand legally.

Tuesday's primary for governor

The backdrop to that Tuesday's primary for governor in Michigan where Republican candidates are fighting one another for the chance to face Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in November.

All five candidates are against abortion rights and all five support the state's 1931 law that criminalizes abortion. That includes Tudor Dixon. She was endorsed by former President Donald Trump Friday night. She was also endorsed by Right to Life of Michigan – a really big get in Michigan Republican politics.

A state constitutional amendment

There is also a ballot campaign in Michigan to get abortion rights enshrined into the state constitution. The group backing the amendment, Reproductive Freedom for All, last month turned in a record number of signatures – more than 750,000.

If that question makes it onto the November ballot, voters will of course be voting for Governor, but they would also then be voting on the future of abortion rights in Michigan. That could really impact voter turnout in the state.

Copyright 2022 Michigan Radio

Zoe Clark

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