Advance Notice: Briefs

GOP-controlled Legislature asks court to lift injunction on 1931 abortion ban

By: - July 8, 2022 10:58 am

At the Michigan Hall of Justice in Lansing, a few dozen people gathered on June 24, 2022 to celebrate the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. | Photo by Andrew Roth

Republican leaders from the House and Senate filed a request in an appellate court late Wednesday night asking for the Court of Claims’ injunction on the state’s 1931 abortion ban law to be lifted. 

The Legislature’s filing described the injunction as an “egregious abuse of judicial power.”

After Planned Parenthood of Michigan filed a lawsuit in April to block enforcement of the 1931 ban, which would make all abortions in the state a felony unless to save the life of the “pregnant woman,” Court of Claims Judge Elizabeth Gleicher ordered an injunction in the lawsuit, temporarily blocking enforcement of the ban until the court makes a final decision in the case.

That’s the only thing currently preventing the state from penalizing abortion providers in Michigan since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last month. 

House Minority Leader Donna Lasinski (D-Scio Twp.) , Nov. 3, 2021, at the Ingham County Courthouse | Laina G. Stebbins

Planned Parenthood of Michigan declined to comment on the Republicans’ request, but House Minority Leader Donna Lasinski (D-Scio Twp.) criticized it.

“Republican leadership has once more taken a radical maneuver in the middle of the night to defend one of the nation’s most extreme abortion bans on behalf of the entire Legislature without a vote before the House or even a moment of consideration by the chamber,” Lasinski said in a statement Thursday. 

Last month, state Rep. Pamela Hornberger (R-Chesterfield Twp.) told Politico that Republicans in the state Legislature aren’t “thinking we’re going to let this 1931 law go back into effect and people are going to start getting arrested. 

“Instead, we are fully prepared to have those difficult conversations with our colleagues,” Hornberger said. 

However, Lasinski said Republicans’ “policy all along has been ’31 or bust.”

This move by Republicans to end the court’s injunction isn’t the first time conservatives have attempted this. 

In May, Right to Life of Michigan, the Michigan Catholic Conference, Kent County Prosecutor Christopher Becker and Jackson County Prosecutor Jerard Jarzynka asked the Court of Appeals to lift the injunction. 

The court hasn’t taken action on either request. 

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Allison R. Donahue
Allison R. Donahue

Allison R. Donahue is a former Michigan Advance reporter who covered education, women's issues and LGBTQ issues. Previously, she was a suburbs reporter at the St. Cloud Times in St. Cloud, Minn., covering local education and government. As a graduate of Grand Valley State University, she has previous experience as a freelance researcher for USA Today and an intern with WOOD TV-8.