TIMELINE: Where abortion policy began in Michigan and what will decide if it remains legal

A timeline of abortion policy in Michigan
Michigan Capitol
Posted at 3:07 PM, Jul 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-12 12:49:24-04

LANSING, Mich. — The issue of abortion has a long history in Michigan dating back to 1846. FOX 47 News has put together a timeline of the issue since the first abortion ban took effect.

Early Stages:

Talks of abortion began in 1846, just nine years after Michigan became a state. It was here that the state first put into law a ban on abortions, unless a mother's life was at risk.

About 70 some years later in 1931, this law was modernized, making it a felony with a punishment of felony manslaughter for an individual to assist in providing an abortion.

Roe V. Wade:

Forty some years later in 1973, The U.S. Supreme Court released their decision on Roe v. Wade.

This made abortion legal in all states, saying a woman in the U.S. had the fundamental right to choose whether to have an abortion.

The 1973 decision was the only thing keeping Michigan's 1931 abortion ban from being in affect.

Nearly 50 years later on May 2, 2022, a leaked draft opinion from the Supreme Court showed that the Court was thinking about overturning Roe v. Wade.

Later that month, on May 17, 2022, due to a lawsuit from Planned Parenthood of Michigan, a Michigan Court of Claims judge granted a preliminary injunction, barring enforcement of the 1931 ban should Roe v. Wade be overturned.

One month later, on June 24, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, sending the issue of abortion rights back to state governments.


As of July 8, 2022, abortion is still legal in Michigan because the preliminary injunction is still in place.

However, as of July 7, Michigan's Republican-led Legislature has filed a request for an appeal on the temporary injunction, arguing it's unjustified.

At the same time, there is a ballot initiative to enshrine abortion access in Michigan's Constitution.

That initiative needs 425,059 signatures to make the Nov. 8 ballot, it's now garnered nearly double that amount of signatures and will be submitted to the Michigan Bureau of Elections and Board of State Canvassers on July 11, 2022.

The future of abortion access in Michigan could come down to this ballot initiative in November.

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