LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – The debate over abortion access in Michigan took a new turn Tuesday when the Chief Justice of the Court of Claims approved a request from Planned Parenthood of Michigan for a preliminary injunction on the state’s 1931 abortion ban.
The request comes while the group’s lawsuit claiming the 1931 law is unconstitutional is being heard by the court.
Supporters and members of Planned Parenthood of Michigan are celebrating the move, while supporters and attorneys with Michigan Right to Life are concerned over its legality as well as the future of the law.
“It’s a rogue decision for someone who is ethically conflicted out of hearing the case and who lacks jurisdiction to decide the case, and nonetheless go ahead and issue an injunction against the attorney general of the state based on merit arguments that no one has opposed or argued in front of her in briefing or in oral argument,” said John Bursch, an attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom.
He said the court had little to no power to make that decision. He added that this was an overreach by Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel, who have been outspoken against the 1931 law.
“They may not like it but no one has the ability to unilaterally ignore, change, or encourage the invalidation of Michigan law. They should be working through the democratic process like anyone else,” said Bursch
Dr. Sarah Wallet, one of the plaintiffs in the case against the law said the court’s decision is a relief for her and the patients under her care.
“This means that I know I will be able to continue to take care of my patients, that I’ll be able to help them achieve their dreams and their goals by controlling their reproductive health decisions,” said Dr. Wallet.
Planned Parenthood Attorney Hannah Swanson said the goal is a permanent block on the law but sees a long fight in other states where pre-Roe laws are still on the books.
“It’s going to be a state-by-state fight in the weeks and months and years ahead and I think we will be excited to see what implications this decision has on other states and other courts,” said Swanson.
This motion comes while Governor Whitmer has a lawsuit pending with the Michigan Supreme Court, asking the court to recognize a constitutional right to abortion.