By Dr. Bill Bolin
The strategy of Heartbeat nationwide is to place severe restrictions on abortion. This can only happen if we can get a redress before SCOTUS and present our grievances against abortion on demand and the fluidity of the determination of viability. If we can convince the SCOTUS that Heartbeat is a true marker of life and impose it as viability, we can see the vast majorities of abortions in America cease.
QUESTION: IS MICHIGAN UNIQUE WITH A TOTAL BAN ON ABORTION PRE-ROE?
As to Michigan, there is an argument that Michigan possesses a pre-Roe ban on abortion. In a way the statement is right, in a way it is dubious. It is correct in the Statute 750.14, which bans all induced miscarriages. It is incorrect in Statute 750.15, which addresses abortion specifically.
QUESTION: WHAT ABOUT MICHIGAN AND THE CONVICTION OF BRICKER AFTER ROE, WHAT WAS THE LAW THAT THE CONVICTION WAS BASED ON?
750.14 was the Statute that gained the upheld conviction of Bricker in People vs. Bricker, which is what some pro-life organizations point to when they say Heartbeat could jeopardize the Michigan pre-Roe Ban on Abortion, as Bricker was convicted and his conviction was upheld on appeal. There are a few problems with this however, as Bricker was not convicted for performing an abortion prior to Roe’s passage. He was convicted of performing a medical procedure without a license.
The Court never determined the viability of a pre-Roe ban or if a conviction for performing an abortion was properly conducted under the proper Statute. As I previously said, 750.14 bans all induced miscarriages either by medicine or by instrumentation. The issue of the abortion was deemed of no consequence in the conviction, which is why he went to prison.
HERE’S THE TRUTH
Untrained and non-licensed people cannot perform surgical procedures or prescribe medications.
It is my opinion that if Roe were overturned tomorrow, our Courts in Michigan would have to decide which of the five (5) current laws that exist in the Statutes would be applicable and enforceable. These five Statutes do not include Heartbeat or Dismemberment. Adding Heartbeat and Dismemberment would not jeopardize already existing Statutes, as we have Statutes that exist both in and in conflict already. An activist judge could take any one of the rulings and make bad law. However, a RIGHTEOUS ACTIVIST JUDGE could act on behalf of the unborn. This is why our legislators need to enact laws that will work for all Michiganders.
THE REAL STATUTE THAT ADDRESSES ABORTION ISN’T 750.14, IT IS THE STATUTE THAT IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWS THE LAW THAT BRICKER WAS ACCUSED OF VIOLATING
Michigan Statute 750.15, which exists immediately after 750.14 actually addresses Abortion Law, not Miscarriage Inducing Law. In it, a doctor is allowed to prescribe medication that could terminate a pregnancy. The Statutes also allow a physician to conduct an abortion if they deem it necessary within a prescribed amount of time pre-Roe.
These five Statutes exist in the 1931 compilation of Michigan law, which is routinely updated.
At a minimum, the introduction of Heartbeat and Dismemberment will cause no harm to existing law regardless of post-Roe status, as the legislatures and the Courts would have to determine the impact and viability of Michigan law absent SCOTUS guidance on a post-Roe ruling that would overturn Roe and Doe.
The likelihood of the lack of guidance is remote however, either from SCOTUS or Congress.
The reason Heartbeat is a great possible replacement or restricting guidance on Roe is it follows the will of the majority of Americans who do not want abortion on demand. They are appalled at late term abortions and abortion in the 2nd trimester.
12 states have passed or are about to pass Heartbeat laws. The more states that pass this law, the greater the pressure for SCOTUS acting on our behalf. Many people are unaware that this was how Roe happened. 26 states had passed laws that decriminalized abortion by 1973, with more pending when Roe became the law of the land.
ANALIZING DISMEMBERMENT AND HEARTBEAT
I am for all legislation anywhere that restricts abortion practices. But I do have great reservations about Dismemberment after reading it’s language. I say this knowing full well that I will sign Right To Life’s Dismemberment ban AND the Heartbeat Bill. Dismemberment is the only anti-abortion law I have ever seen that places language in it that upholds other forms of abortion. With that point of reservation, I agree with RTL and their position that the dismemberment of a child is horrific and abhorrent.
In 1973 the Michigan Supreme Court in People vs. Bricker confirmed yet again that it is the policy of the State of Michigan to prohibit abortion except to save the life of the mother and held that our existing ban is Constitutional but under the constrains of Roe vs. Wade and Doe vs. Bolton. The problem with the Dismemberment legislation is it does not criminalize the other forms of abortion. If you take away dismemberment where the child bleeds out in minutes after being ripped apart by the executioner aka abortionist, the executioner can then subject the child to a bath in a saline solution that will burn them up over the course of hours. They are both bad options.
Dismemberment legislation is good for optics, as it forces our Governor to veto the legislation, but it does not prevent a single abortion from happening. Dismemberment simply forces the executioner to choose another torturous methodology to inflict carnage on a human being before terminating the child’s life.
Maybe it is time for those of us who are in the pro-life movement to put aside our differences and fight side by side to advance each others unique perspectives and legislation. The stakes are too high to act trite, in isolation or combative. Together we are strong. Together we can win the war against the unborn.
Dr. Bill Bolin