This just in: Abortion will remain legal in Michigan, judge rules


HR King
May 29, 2001
Access to abortion will remain legal in Michigan for now, after an Oakland County judge ruled Friday to grant an injunction that would block enforcement of the state’s 91-year-old ban on the procedure, The Post’s Kim Bellware reports.
In April, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) sued to block the 1931 law from taking effect if Roe v. Wade were overturned — which the Supreme Court did in June.
Whitmer’s lawsuit kicked off months of legal back-and-forth that’s expected to continue until the November election, when a measure that would enshrine abortion rights in the state constitution is expected to be on the ballot.
As Kim writes:
After a lengthy exposition of his decision, Circuit Court Judge Jacob J. Cunningham’s determination was fairly simple: The plaintiffs faced far greater harm if the 1931 abortion ban — which could be imminently overturned by the state Supreme Court or superseded by a voter referendum this fall — were enforced.
“Though the court appreciate both sides of this debate are passionate in their convictions, by not issuing an injunction today the court would send the health-care system into crisis, the extreme costs of which would then be put on the women of our great state and, not lost on the court, without any repercussion for the men who, without a doubt, are a necessary component to create a pregnancy,” Cunningham said.
Michigan is shaping up to be the fiercest battleground over abortion access in the post-Roe era. The ultimate fate of abortion access in the state will have downstream effects on people seeking abortion in surrounding states, given Michigan’s location. Only two other states in the Midwest — Illinois and Minnesota — have protected abortion access.
Next is a meeting at the end of this month in which Michigan’s Board of Canvassers will determine whether the voter referendum to change the state constitution to protect abortion rights appears on November’s ballot.
Such a referendum would be somewhat similar to the one Kansas voters faced earlier this month, in which an overwhelming majority voted to keep abortion legal in the state.
Read more on this decision here.