Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said on Sunday that she would not enforce a 1931 law in the state that criminalizes abortion with no exceptions, calling it “draconian.”
Speaking at NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’ programme, the 53-year-old Democrat said, “As attorney general, I have statewide jurisdiction. And I ran on a platform of understanding that likely during the course of my term, Roe v. Wade would be overturned.”
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Commenting on the legislation itself, Nessel said, “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.”
“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,” she declared.
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“Let’s be clear: women in my state, and in states all over America are going to die because of this position,” the AG went on, commenting on the leaked Supreme Court opinion draft that suggests an overturning of Roe v. Wade is on the cards.
“Politicians do not belong in our doctor’s offices. They don’t belong in our bedrooms. And they should not be making these kinds of decisions on behalf of the American public and on behalf of women across America,” she added.
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Nessel’s comments come after Governor Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat like the AG, and the state’s Planned Parenthood chapter filed separate lawsuits last month to block the enforcement of the 1931 law in the event of an overturning of the Roe v. Wade decision, as well as to protect the right to abortion under the state’s own constitution.
The “draconian” 1931 law allows abortion only “to preserve the life” of a woman, but doctors and legal commentators alike say that the law’s wording makes it difficult to interpret.