Michigan Supreme Court Justice Brian Zahra’s ex-wife said Zahra paid for her to have an abortion when they were dating in college.
Alyssa Jones detailed her experience getting an abortion in 1983, and said she and Zahra were on the same page when deciding to get an abortion. Zahra paid for the abortion and drove Jones to a suburban Detroit clinic where the pregnancy was terminated.
On May 18 that year, Jones said, Zahra drove her to the clinic and paid for her abortion. As they sat in the car afterward, Jones, then a sophomore in college, hung her head and wept, feeling the conflicting emotions of a life-changing experience. Zahra, she said, seemed frustrated that she was upset and that he couldn’t console her. He yelled at her, she recalled: If you didn’t want to do this, why did we do this?
“I never disagreed with it, I didn’t feel like he was strong-arming me. … I do remember talking during the procedure, saying, ‘You know, we just need to finish school, we’re not ready to have a family, we need to finish school.’”
Zahra and Republican-nominated Justice David Viviano were the only two justices who dissented in the court’s approval of Proposal 3, which would affirm abortion rights in Michigan and nullify the state’s 1931 ban on the procedure. The 1931 law bans abortion in all cases except when it is performed to save the life of the mother.
Zahra opposed putting the proposal on the ballot based on the technical merits of the submission — issues with spacing and formatting.
Zahra is on the ballot seeking his second term on Michigan’s highest court. Zahra was appointed in 2011 by then governor Rick Snyder, a Republican, and has received an endorsement from Michigan Right to Life.