Watch CBS News

Judge grants preliminary injunction blocking Michigan's 1931 abortion ban

(CBS DETROIT) -- An Oakland County Circuit judge granted a preliminary injunction that blocks prosecutors from enforcing Michigan's 1931 abortion ban.

Judge Jacob Cunningham  blocked enforcement of the 1931 ban on Aug. 1, just hours after the state Court of Appeals said county prosecutors were not covered by a May order and could enforce the prohibition following the fall of Roe v. Wade.

Cunningham extended the order days later until Friday's hearing.

"The harm to the body of women and people capable of pregnancy in not issuing the injunction could not be more real, clear, present and dangerous to the court," Cunningham said in Friday's hearing.

David Kallman, an attorney representing two Republican county prosecutors, told the Associated Press that an appeal is planned.

In a statement, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said:

"I am grateful for this ruling that will protect women and ensure nurses and doctors can keep caring for their patients without fear of prosecution. I am particularly grateful to Attorney General Dana Nessel and her team for their work on behalf of the state.

"The lack of legal clarity about abortion in Michigan has already caused far too much confusion for women who deserve certainty about their health care, and hardworking medical providers who should be able to do their jobs without worrying about being thrown behind bars. Once, over the course of a single day, abortion was legal in the morning, illegal around lunch time, and legal in the evening. We cannot have this kind of whiplash aboutsomething as fundamental as a woman's right to control her own body. Michigan women are understandably scared and angry, and they deserve better than being treated as second class citizens. 

"While today is welcome news, my team and I will remain vigilant in protecting reproductive freedom. The sad reality is that a number of leaders in the state are actively looking for ways to make sure Michigan's draconian 1931 law, which bans abortion for all women, doesn't include exceptions for rape or incest, and criminalizes nurses and doctors who offer reproductive care, is the law of the land. I am proud of my team today, but our work continues. 

"Back in April, I filed a lawsuit and asked the Michigan Supreme Court to determine if abortion is constitutionally protected in Michigan. While we wait for the Supreme Court to rule, I will continue using every tool in my toolbox to fight like hell for women and health care providers." 

In May, Court of Claims Judge Elizabeth Gleicher granted a preliminary injunction sought by Planned Parenthood of Michigan to suspend the state's abortion weeks before the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

Following the high court's ruling on June 24, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer filed a motion urging the state Supreme Court to consider her lawsuit on abortion rights.

Whitmer cited that there was confusion among county prosecutors and medical providers on the current status of abortion in the state after the CEO and president of Beaumont Health and Spectrum Health (BHSH) advised staff members that Friday's ruling on Roe v. Wade meant the state's 1931 ban "is now in effect."

BHSH later reversed course a day later, citing "the uncertainties and confusion" surrounding its enforcement, and said it would continue performing abortions when medically necessary. BHSH also asked Michigan courts "to bring clarity as quickly as possible."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.