County prosecutors can’t enforce Michigan abortion ban

Pontiac — An Oakland County judge ruled Friday that county prosecutors cannot enforce the state’s 1931 abortion law as courts consider a Gov. Gretchen Whitmer lawsuit seeking to overturn the ban as unconstitutional, a decision that two GOP county prosecutors plan to appeal.  

Oakland Circuit Judge Jacob Cunningham’s preliminary injunction means abortion will likely remain legal in Michigan until Whitmer’s case or a lawsuit brought by Planned Parenthood in the Michigan Court of Appeals is fully resolved. 

Cunningham said the harm of allowing prosecutors to criminalize abortions could not be “more real, clear, present and dangerous.” The 1931 abortion ban doesn’t pass constitutional muster in the state, he said, because weaponizing criminal law against abortion providers goes against due process. 

“A person carrying a child has the right to bodily autonomy and integrity as well as a safe doctor-patient relationship free from government interference, as they have been able to do so for nearly 50 years,” Cunningham said, adapting the “bodily integrity” phrase used in Court of Claims Judge Elizabeth Gleicher’s May preliminary injunction in a Planned Parenthood lawsuit.