Aug 22, 2022 - News

Abortion access ensured through November

Abortion advocates march down Griswold Street in downtown Detroit on June 24
Abortion advocates march down Griswold Street in downtown Detroit on June 24. Photo: Samuel Robinson/Axios

An Oakland County judge ruled last week that county prosecutors can't enforce the state's 1931 pre-Roe abortion ban ahead of the November election.

Driving the news: Circuit Court Judge Jacob Cunningham said that enforcing the ban would "send the health care system into crisis."

Catch up fast: The 1931 law makes abortion illegal unless it saves the pregnant person's life.

  • Earlier this month, a Court of Appeals judge ruled the injunction on the pre-Roe ban does not apply to local prosecutors, allowing them to enforce the law.
  • Prosecutors in Jackson and Kent counties suggested they would enforce the 1931 law.

What they're saying: "Absent this preliminary injunction, physicians face a very real threat of prosecution depending on where they practice," Attorney General Dana Nessel said in a statement.

  • "This preliminary injunction means that as far as we know right now, abortion is going to remain legal at least until November and we can see what happens with the constitutional amendment," Rep. Laurie Pohutsky (D-Livonia), chairwoman of the Legislature's Progressive Women's Caucus, tells Axios.

State of play: Abortion rights advocates in Michigan submitted 753,759 signatures for a ballot initiative that would enshrine the right to an abortion and other reproductive services into the state Constitution.

  • Ballot initiatives such as Reproductive Freedom for All must be certified by the State Board of Canvassers in order for it to appear on the ballot.
  • The proposal is currently facing a last-ditch legal challenge over formatting issues.
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