LANSING, Mich. (Michigan News Source) – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced on Thursday that she’s filed a “renewed request” with the Michigan Supreme Court to constitutionally protect a legal right to abortion.
“The current lack of legal clarity has already caused confusion for women, doctors and nurses, and health care systems multiple times,” Gov. Whitmer said in a press release. “Monday’s fire drill is yet another example of why the Michigan Supreme Court must act. A legal patchwork that changes day to day, county to county is untenable. We need certainty that access to abortion is constitutionally protected in Michigan. Every day we delay, health care providers will question if they are able to provide care safely, or if their work will lead to prosecution and possible jail time. I will keep fighting like hell to protect Michigan women.”
The “fire drill” Whitmer refers to is a Michigan Court of Appeals ruling on Monday which said county prosecutors have the legal right to prosecute abortion-related crimes under the state’s 1931 abortion ban. This applies to prosecutors charging abortion providers, not mothers. The Michigan Supreme Court ruled in 1963 that mothers cannot be prosecuted for having abortions.
On Wednesday, a judge heard arguments from Gov. Whitmer’s team and attorneys for the Jackson and Kent County prosecutors. They argued that an temporary restraining order granted by a judge late Monday stopping the Court of Appeals ruling has no basis in case law.
Attorneys for that case will be back in court on August 17.