Michigan County prosecutors can enforce 1931 abortion ban, under appeals court rules
(WXYZ) – The Michigan Court of Appeals has ruled county prosecutors can sue for Michigan’s 1931 abortion ban.
Michigan has a 1931 law that not only prohibits abortion but criminalizes it, with the person being charged with a felony or misdemeanor.
“Any person who willfully administer to a pregnant woman any medicine, drug, substance or thing whatsoever, or employs any instrument or any other means whatsoever, with intent to thereby induce the miscarriage of such woman, unless it was necessary to preserve the life of such a woman, shall be guilty of a crime, and if the death of such a pregnant woman is so brought about, the offense shall be deemed manslaughter”, according to Michigan law.
Earlier this month, Judge Elizabeth Gleicher of the Michigan Court of Claims issued a temporary injunction that blocked the enforcement of the ban if the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, which happened in June.
After that, some Michigan county prosecutors asked the Court of Appeals for a ruling declaring that the temporary injunction did not apply to them.
“In light of Manuel’s four-part investigation, we conclude that, in all the circumstances, the fundamental nature of a county attorney is that of a local officer and not an officer of the State. Because county attorneys are local officers, the jurisdiction of the Court of Claims does not extend to them,” the court wrote in its ruling on Monday.
“The Michigan Court of Appeals just ruled that MI’s 83 county prosecutors can now begin enforcing the abortion ban. But note that Democratic prosecutors have pledged to decline to enforce the ban, and the injunction still applies to my department,” the Michigan attorney said. Gen. Dana Nessel said in a tweet Monday morning.
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has filed a separate lawsuit against the state’s abortion ban. Currently, they are awaiting a decision from the state Supreme Court to see if it will take up the case.
While all of this is happening, an organization that aims to legalize abortion in Michigan through a ballot proposal has garnered over 600,000 signatures and is awaiting verification from the Michigan Board of State Solicitors before it can be listed on the November election.