Aug 1, 2022 - Health

Local prosecutors can enforce Michigan's pre-Roe abortion ban, court rules

Picture of abortion rights supporters in a protest
Abortion rights protesters during a national day of protest in Lansing, Mich., on July 4, 2022. Photo: Emily Elconin/Bloomberg via Getty Images

An appellate court on Monday ruled that the injunction on Michigan's pre-Roe 1931 abortion ban does not apply to local prosecutors, allowing them to enforce the law.

Driving the news: The ban was temporarily blocked in May, allowing for abortion to remain legal in Michigan. Two county prosecutors then sued to stop that order, but the Michigan Court of Appeals dismissed their case because the preliminary injunction "does not apply to county prosecutors."

  • State officials are still blocked from enforcing the ban.
  • The appeals court's ruling will take effect in 21 days.

The big picture: The ruling is related to a case brought by Planned Parenthood of Michigan, which is asking a court to declare the pre-Roe ban unconstitutional.

What they're saying: "Planned Parenthood of Michigan will continue to evaluate our legal options and remains committed to protecting abortion access in Michigan," Planned Parenthood of Michigan said in a statement, per the Detroit Free Press.

  • "Planned Parenthood of Michigan will continue to provide abortion services in accordance with the law. PPMI patients can keep their appointments and our doors remain open."

Details: The 1931 law makes abortion illegal unless it is necessary to save the pregnant person's life.

  • Under the ban, anybody who provides an abortion in violation of the law could be found guilty of manslaughter.

Between the lines: Several county prosecutors in Michigan have already said that they do not plan to prosecute abortion cases.

  • "As Michigan's elected prosecutors, we are entrusted with the health and safety of the people we serve. We believe that duty must come before all else. For that reason, we are reassuring our communities that we support a woman's right to choose and every person's right to reproductive freedom," the prosecutors from the counties of Oakland, Ingham, Washtenaw, Genesee, Wayne, Marquette and Kamalazoo said in a joint statement.

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