Getting an abortion remains legal in Michigan after a judge blocked prosecutors from enforcing a near total ban.
Oakland County Circuit Judge Jacob Cunningham issued a preliminary injunction on Friday. Cunningham argued that it’s overwhelmingly in the public’s interest to let the people of Michigan decide this matter at the ballot box.
Judge Jacob James Cunningham sides with abortion rights advocates and grants an injunction to block enforcement of Michigan’s 1931 law banning abortion:
“The harm to the body of women … in not issuing the injunction could not be more real, clear, present, and dangerous.” pic.twitter.com/lnt59yEdoA
— The Recount (@therecount) August 19, 2022
“As currently applied, the court finds the statute dangerous and chilling to our state’s population of child-bearing people and the medical professionals who care for them,” he said.
The law has been on the books since 1931. It went back into effect after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June. It would have allowed abortion providers to be charged with a felony, including manslaughter. The measure was never enforced after Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D-Mich.) filed a suit to uphold protections in April. She asked Michigan’s Supreme Court to determine if abortion is constitutionally protected in the state.
“Weaponizing the criminal law against providers to force pregnancy on our state’s women is simply contrary to notions of due process, equal protection and bodily autonomy in this court’s eyes,” Judge Cunningham said.
Republican prosecutors in Kent, Macomb and Jackson counties said they should be able to enforce the law. Attorney David Kallman announced that an appeal is in the works.
Outside the courthouse, he told reporters that the judge ignored all of the clear legal errors and problems in the case. Meanwhile, Michigan’s Board of Canvassers is expected to meet at the end of the month to announce whether or not protecting abortion rights will be on the ballot on November eighth.