Sunday, November 27, 2022

County prosecutors can enforce 1931 abortion ban after 21 day appeal period, docs state

August 1, 2022
<p>Abortion-rights protesters stand in front of the Michigan State Capitol on June 24, 2022. Protesters gathered after the Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to an abortion, decided by Roe v. Wade in 1973, through their decision in the Dobbs vs. Jackson WOmen&#x27;s Health Organization case.</p>

Abortion-rights protesters stand in front of the Michigan State Capitol on June 24, 2022. Protesters gathered after the Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to an abortion, decided by Roe v. Wade in 1973, through their decision in the Dobbs vs. Jackson WOmen's Health Organization case.

Photo by Devin Anderson-Torrez | The State News

The Michigan Court of Appeals ordered that the temporary injunction that has prevented enforcement of the 1931 ban on abortion in Michigan does not apply to county prosecutors. 

This order takes place within the next 21 days after an appeal period and applies to health workers and doctors who provide abortions.

Ingham County Prosecutor Carol A. Siemon confirmed earlier this year that her office will not be prosecuting abortion cases, joining Wayne, Washtenaw, Kalamazoo, Oakland, Genesee, and Marquette counties.

“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,” the prosecutors said in a joint statement. “We believe that those laws conflict with the oath we took to support the United States and Michigan Constitutions.”

Planned Parenthood of Michigan put out a statement reminding Michigan citizens that the ruling cannot take effect during the 21-day appeal window.

“Planned Parenthood of Michigan will continue to evaluate our legal options and remains committed to protecting abortion access in Michigan,” the unattributed statement said. “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.”

Currently, the 1931 ban applies to all abortions except for those that are considered life-saving, with no exceptions for situations of rape or incest. As county prosecutors are considered local and not state officials, the injunction does not apply to them. 

This order comes in the face of efforts by democratic legislators such as Attorney General Dana Nessel, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and organizations such as Planned Parenthood to keep abortion legal in the state of Michigan. 

“The thread has torn,” Nessel said in a tweet. “Note that the Dem prosecuting attorneys have committed to refuse to enforce the ban, and the injunction still applies to my department.”

Nessel also confirmed that appeals are likely for this ruling.


Ingham County Prosecutor's Office was not available for comment at the time of publication.

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