Whitmer implores Michigan Supreme Court to decide whether state constitution protects abortion rights

The Governor says the court ‘must act now’ on abortion rights

click to enlarge Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. - State of Michigan
State of Michigan
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is urging the Michigan Supreme Court to “immediately” decide whether the state constitution protects abortion rights after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade on Friday.

In the motion, attorneys for Whitmer say the court’s insight is “urgently needed.”

Michigan is one of 26 states with a law banning abortion. The state’s 1931 abortion ban was invalidated when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of abortion rights in Roe v. Wade in 1973. But now that the case has been overturned, the 1931 ban could go back into effect.

Last month, a Michigan Court of Claims judge issued a preliminary injunction against the 1931 law in response to a Planned Parenthood of Michigan lawsuit that argues the state’s constitution protects abortion rights. Judge Elizabeth Gleicher said Planned Parenthood is likely to prevail in its lawsuit.

But the injunction is temporary.

The quickest way to strike down the 1931 ban is through the Michigan Supreme Court.

“So long as this uncertainty persists, it will work to deny Michiganders their rights under the Michigan Constitution and have profound and irreversible consequences on Michiganders’ lives,” the motion states. “This Court is the only forum with the power to fully resolve that uncertainty and conclusively settle whether Michigan’s criminal abortion ban.”

Whitmer said the Supreme Court “must act now.”

“With today's U.S. Supreme Court decision, Michigan's extreme 1931 law banning abortion without exceptions for rape or incest and criminalizing doctors and nurses who provide reproductive care is poised to take effect,” Whitmer said in a statement. “If the 1931 law goes into effect, it will punish women and strip away their right to make decisions about their own bodies. That is why I filed a lawsuit in April and used my executive authority to urge the Michigan Supreme Court to immediately resolve whether Michigan’s state constitution protects the right to abortion.”

Whitmer added, “I will fight like hell to protect the rights of Michigan women.”

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About The Author

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling is an award-winning investigative journalist who operated Motor City Muckraker, an online news site devoted to exposing abuses of power and holding public officials accountable. Neavling also hosted Muckraker Report on 910AM from September 2017 to July 2018. Before launching Motor City Muckraker,...
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