The local prosecutors for the state of Michigan now have the power to enforce a law for the state from 1931 that banned abortion in the wake of a court ruling handed down on Monday.
The previously dormant, now active, law come from before Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion nationwide, was blocked from enforcement back in May. The law outright bans all abortions except for when the mother’s life is in danger.,
A pair of country prosecutors issued their response via suing to allow the old law to go back into effect.
In a Monday ruling, the Michigan Court of Appeals found that the preliminary injunction that blocked the law “does not apply to county prosecutors,” which means that they have the power to enforce the abortion ban which will go into effect as of the 22nd of August. Many officials at the state level are not permitted to enforce the ban. Meanwhile, Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI) is requesting a ruling us calling for a ruling from the state supreme court that would effectively declare abortion access as constitutionally protected.
The original case against the ban was put forth by Planned Parenthood of Michigan, which is trying to have the court system label the 91-year-old abortion ban unconstitutional.
“We’re ecstatic. It’s wonderful. That’s exactly what we’ve been saying all along,” stated David Kallman, attorney of the conservative Great Lakes Justice Center, which is slated to represent the Michigan prosecutors who issued the challenge to the injunction.
Planned Parenthood of Michigan issued their own statement claiming it would still carry out abortions.
“I want to make one thing abundantly clear: Abortion is still safe and legal in Michigan today,” professed the president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Michigan, Paula Thornton Greear.
“We’re committed to protecting abortion access in Michigan. We believe that the Court of Appeals order is wrong,” she stated.
While a few prosecutors evidently wanted the ban on abortion to go into effect, many others from several different counties all over the state have stated they will not be enforcing any such ban, even though they are now able 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,” stated prosecutors from the Michigan counties of Oakland, Ingham, Washtenaw, Genesee, Wayne, Marquette and Kamalazoo.
Recently, Whitmer called out the court’s ruling by stating that she has filed a temporary restraining order against its enforcement.
“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,” explained Whitmer.
“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,” stated the governor.