Beaumont-Spectrum Health backtracks on abortion guidance, says current policy will continue

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After the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on Friday, Michigan’s largest health system, Beaumont-Spectrum Health, said it would discontinue most abortion services, despite the fact that the procedure remains legal in the state. But new guidance says otherwise.

BSHS, in an internal memo on Friday, said it would only perform abortions if the mother’s life was in danger, citing Michigan’s 1931 abortion law, which is not currently in effect.

On Sunday, BSHS issued new guidance, saying in a statement: “At present, the current legal landscape regarding abortion in our state is unclear and uncertain. We are aware of the 1931 Michigan law. However, given the uncertainties and confusion surrounding its enforcement, until there is clarity, we will continue our practice of providing abortions when medically necessary.”

“We continue to believe that these decisions are both personal and private and best made between a woman and her physician. In 2021, the entire BHSH System performed approximately 60 therapeutic, medically necessary abortions that required hospital level care. We have not and will not perform elective abortions. We continue to provide care for women’s health, including reproductive needs. We will support our physicians and patients through a multidisciplinary, local committee as they navigate this challenging landscape.”

BSHS added, “We urge Michigan courts to bring clarity as quickly as possible.”

The 1931 abortion law in Michigan, with its roots dating back to the mid-1800s, is not in effect in Michigan and is currently being challenged in court. Abortion is legal in the state until the matter is sorted out in court.

Related: Supreme Court overturns Roe v Wade: What that means for abortion access in Michigan

The University of Michigan hospital system, Michigan Medicine, said on Friday that it would continue offering abortion services until further notice.

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Ken Haddad is the digital content and audience manager for WDIV / He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013. He enjoys suffering through Lions games on Sundays in the fall.