On Monday, a court ruled that county prosecutors can now enforce Michigan’s 1931 abortion ban. A Michigan court of appeals did block state prosecutors from enacting the law though. As it “does not apply to county prosecutors,” they can enact the 1931 law from August 22nd.
The 1931 law contains two components, one is that it is a felony to carry out an abortion unless the pregnant women’s life is in danger. The 2nd component is that it is illegal to both sell and advertise and medication that could induce an abortion.
Judge John Cunningham reviewed the case at the request of lawyers representing Michigan Governor, Gretchen Whitmer.
Attorney General Dana Nessel spoke out after the verdict and said she would continue to fight for women’s reproductive rights. “The legal fight in Michigan continues and this temporary restraining order ensures prosecutors cannot target women or providers in the short term,” Nessel said.
Planned Parenthood of Michigan issued a statement confirming that it would continue to carry about abortions. “I want to make one thing abundantly clear: Abortion is still safe and legal in Michigan today,” said Michigan Planned Parent CEO, Paula Thornton Greear. “We’re committed to protecting abortion access in Michigan. We believe that the Court of Appeals order is wrong.”
Some county prosecutors who requested the law be re-enacted will enforce it after the 22nd. Other country prosecutors have said that they will not enforce the law, despite having the authority to do so.
“As Michigan’s elected prosecutors, we are entrusted with the health and safety of the people we serve. We believe that duty must come before all else. For that reason, we are reassuring our communities that we support a woman’s right to choose and every person’s right to reproductive freedom,” said prosecutors from the Michigan counties of Oakland, Ingham, Washtenaw, Genesee, Wayne, Marquette and Kamalazoo.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer expressed her disdain for the ruling and put in place a temporary restraining order against it being enacted.
“Today’s dangerous decision by the Michigan Court of Appeals clears a path for county prosecutors to use Michigan’s extreme 1931 abortion ban to prosecute doctors and nurses and jail them for doing their jobs,” Whitmer said. “We cannot risk further confusion for women, health care providers, and all Michiganders. As today’s unexpected action proves, the overturn of Roe v Wade in June has left reproductive freedom hanging by a thread in Michigan.”
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: MICHIGAN DAILY
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