Key abortion ruling in Oakland County is hours away -- Here’s what to expect

‘When you think about whether or not the preliminary injunction should be entered, I have to highlight the significance of these issues to two million women in the state of Michigan’

We are hours away from an Oakland County judge ruling on whether abortion services can continue across Michigan. That decision is pending while anti-abortion groups are working on getting a potential abortion proposal kicked off the ballot. The showdown in Michigan over abortion has, for now, two key decisions pending, both before the voters ever get a chance to make their voices heard.

OAKLAND COUNTY, Mich. – We are hours away from an Oakland County judge ruling on whether abortion services can continue across Michigan.

That decision is pending while anti-abortion groups are working on getting a potential abortion proposal kicked off the ballot.

The showdown in Michigan over abortion has, for now, two key decisions pending, both before the voters ever get a chance to make their voices heard.

On Friday (Aug. 19) morning, an Oakland County judge will decide whether abortion services can continue in Michigan, and two foes of the ballot proposal asking you, the voter, to weigh in on the issue are formally trying to get it kicked from the ballot.

A judge here will decide whether to keep a restraining order in place, which was requested by Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, which would not allow county prosecutors to charge doctors and women seeking abortions under the 1931 law.

The state of Michigan is arguing if the judge removes that temporary injunction, it will cause chaos for women across the state.

“When you think about whether or not the preliminary injunction should be entered, I have to highlight the significance of these issues to two million women in the state of Michigan,” said Deputy Attorney General Christina Grassi. “It’s incredibly important that they not be injured while the court takes the time necessary to consider these issues.”

Read: Judge to rule on preliminary injunction that would bar prosecutors from enforcing Michigan’s abortion ban Friday

Those trying to get the 1931 abortion ban enacted say prosecutors are having their duties infringed upon.

“The governor is trying to take away the right of the voice of the people for everybody to weigh in, not just her,” said Attorney for Defendants David Kallman.

All of the legal maneuverings would affect the interim as a ballot proposal which turned in more than 700,000 signatures is asking Michigan voters to weigh in on whether abortion should be legal in Michigan this November.

But a group has now filed a formal challenge to get it kicked off the ballot, not because all those hundreds of thousands of signatures are bad but because of what appears to be a text formatting error that has some sentences that lack spaces.

The argument is this is “incomprehensible argle-bargle.” After consulting attorneys not affiliated with the case, they dispute its gibberish, as you can clearly see the words. The spacing are the issue.

Ultimately it will be up to the state board of canvassers to make a decision on Aug. 31.

You have two Democrats and two Republicans who sit on that state board. If the Republicans reject the petition, it would then head to court, where a judge would likely put it on the ballot.


About the Authors:

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.