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Michigan law banning most abortions is unconstitutional, judge rules

by | Sep 7, 2022

Judge Gleicher, a frequent donor to Planned Parenthood, declined to remove herself from the case 

By Dave Andrusko

As was wholly expected, Court of Claims Judge Elizabeth Gleicher ruled Wednesday that the 1931 law banning almost all abortions “would violate both the right to bodily integrity and equal protection afforded to people who are pregnant under the Michigan Constitution,” according to Dave Boucher of the Detroit Free Press. “The order is not the final say on abortion access in the state − opponents will certainly appeal to a higher court that has already undermined previous Gleicher rulings.” 

She wrote

“Manifestly, criminalizing abortion will eliminate access to a mainstay healthcare service. For 50 years, Michiganders have freely exercised the right to safely control their health and their reproductive destinies by deciding when and whether to carry a pregnancy to term. Eliminating abortion access will force pregnant women to forgo control of the integrity of their own bodies, regardless of the effect on their health and lives. …

“Enforcement of (the criminal abortion ban) will endanger the health and lives of women seeking to exercise their constitutional right to abortion. Enforcement also threatens pregnant women with irreparable injury because without the availability of abortion services, women will be denied appropriate, safe and constitutionally protected medical care.” 

But Judge  Gleicher was just warming up:

“The statute not only compels motherhood and its attendant responsibilities, it wipes away the mother’s ability to make the plans she considers most beneficial for the future of her existing or desired children. Despite that men play necessary role in the procreative process, the law deprives only women of their ability to thrive as contributing participating in world outside the home and as parents of wanted children. …

“Our Constitution does not permit the Legislature to impose unjustifiable burdens on different classes of pregnant women. It also forbids treating pregnant women as unequal to men in terms of their ability to make personal decisions about when and whether to be a parent.”

The lawsuit was filed earlier this year by Planned Parenthood of Michigan against Attorney General Dana Nessel. “Gleicher already issued a preliminary injunction that she argued should prevent Nessel and any county prosecutor from enforcing the 1931 abortion law,” Boucher wrote.

Of course, the attorney general and the governor are staunchly pro-abortion. Neither is interested in defending the law.

In fact, Nessel filed an amicus brief today in support of Reproductive Freedom For All v Board of State Canvassers. On August 31st, the 4- member Michigan Board of State Canvassers deadlocked on whether to certify the Reproductive Freedom for All ballot initiative to the November ballot. The initiative would enshrine abortion in the state constitution.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer “has filed a separate lawsuit against prosecutors in the 13 Michigan counties with abortion clinics, resulted in an Oakland County judge issuing a separate injunction that prevented these law enforcement officers from charging anyone under the abortion ban.”

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