Restraining order granted, county prosecutors cannot enforce 1931 abortion law

By JOEY CAPPELLETTI Associated Press/Report for America

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that county prosecutors can enforce the state's 91-year-old abortion ban on Monday, then hours later an Oakland County judge granted a restraining order preventing county prosecutors from enforcing the law.

The pre-Roe ban, which had been blocked in May from taking immediate effect, makes it a crime for physicians to perform abortions unless the life of the mother is in danger.

Attorney General Dana Nessel released the following statement regarding the court of appeals decision.

“Today’s ruling will not deter my efforts to continue to fight for Michigan women. The legal battle continues on multiple fronts and those of us who value access to reproductive healthcare and respect a women’s right to make the best decisions for herself, according to her own moral, cultural and religious beliefs are not backing down. While I respect the ruling from the court, it is by no means the final say on this issue in Michigan.

Click here to read the ruling

AG Nessel filed a motion for a temporary restraining order to prevent the appeals court decision from taking effect. It was granted late in the afternoon.

“I am grateful for this relief—however temporary—because it will help ensure that Michigan’s doctors, nurses, and health care systems can continue caring for their patients,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “Earlier, a decision from the Michigan Court of Appeals cleared 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. I immediately filed for a temporary restraining order, and I am proud that the Oakland Circuit Court has approved my request.

AG Nessel issued the following statement.

“The legal fight in Michigan continues and this temporary restraining order ensures prosecutors cannot target women or providers in the short-term,” said Nessel. “Women should feel comfortable to move forward with their planned medical procedures and providers in those counties should feel confident to practice medicine free from the threat of prosecution while my department continues to pursue all legal options available to ensure reproductive healthcare in our state.”

Read the Oakland County court ruling

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