Judge: Michigan’s Abortion Ban Cannot Be Enforced by Prosecutors

After two days of hearing from abortion specialists, providers, and the state’s chief medical officer, a judge in Michigan blocked county prosecutors from enforcing the state’s 1931 ban on abortion on Friday.

In a decision earlier this month, the state Court of Appeals decided that county prosecutors were not bound by a May injunction and could enforce the prohibition following the overturn of Roe v. Wade by the U.S. Supreme Court.

“The harm to the body of women and those capable of pregnancy in not issuing the injunction could not be more real, plain, present, and dangerous to the court,” Judge Jacob Cunningham of Oakland County stated in his order on Friday.

Attorney David Kallman, who represents two Republican county prosecutors, has announced that they will be appealing the decision.

“The judge dismissed all of the evident legal flaws and problems, in this case, it appears to me, solely because the topic is abortion,” Kallman told The Associated Press after the hearing.

Following a request from counsel for Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Cunningham sought a restraining order against county prosecutors hours after the August 1 appeals court judges.

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Republican prosecutors in Kent, Jackson, and Macomb counties have stated they should be permitted to implement the 1931 legislation, despite the fact that the majority of prosecutors in counties where abortion facilities are located have said they will not enforce the prohibition.

This temporary injunction, which was granted by Cunningham after hearing arguments on Wednesday and Thursday in Pontiac, is intended to keep abortion lawful throughout Michigan until the Michigan Supreme Court or voters decide in the fall.

Whitmer, in a statement released shortly after the judgment was announced on Friday morning, expressed her “gratefulness” for the outcome and for the work of Attorney General Dana Nessel.

While today’s developments are encouraging, I assure you that Whitmer and her team will not let up in their efforts to safeguard the right to choose. “Michigan’s harsh 1931 legislation, which forbids abortion for all women, does not allow exceptions for rape or incest and criminalizes nurses and doctors who deliver reproductive care, is still on the books, and a number of state authorities are actively looking for ways to make sure it stays that way. Today was a great day for my team, but our efforts must continue.”