An Oakland County Circuit Court judge on Friday granted a preliminary injunction that temporarily bars county prosecutors from enforcing Michigan’s 1931 abortion ban post Roe.
You can watch the entire ruling in the video player above.
After hearing two days’ worth of arguments for and against the preliminary injunction, Oakland County Judge Jacob Cunningham said Friday that the plaintiffs proved that the state’s nearly century-old abortion ban is dangerous and presents a constitutional crisis. Cunningham said everyone in Michigan, “individually and collectively,” is harmed by the existing 1931 law and would be harmed if he did not grant a preliminary injunction.
During the evidentiary hearing, plaintiffs and their witnesses noted that approximately two million Michiganders are of childbearing age.
“It is clear to the court that only one group is harmed by this statute: women and people capable of carrying a child,” Cunningham said.
The testimonies of two witnesses brought by the defense on Thursday were ultimately dismissed by the judge, who claimed their credibility was compromised and their testimonies and work showed significant bias. The defendants, Cunningham said, have “no harm, zero” if the 1931 law banning abortion is on hold.
The injunction granted Friday preserves the status quo that people have experienced since Roe v. Wade protected the right to an abortion in 1973, Cunningham said.
“A person caring for a child has the right to bodily autonomy ... as they have for 50 years,” Cunningham said Friday.
The judge granted a motion for a temporary restraining order brought by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Aug. 1, which temporarily prevented county prosecutors from enforcing the state’s 1931 law that bans most abortions. That ruling came nearly immediately after the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that county prosecutors are allowed to prosecute the law banning abortions, despite yet an earlier court ruling barring them from doing so.
In his Aug. 1 decision, Cunningham agreed that a temporary restraining order was necessary, as the constitutionality of the state’s 1931 law is being questioned in other lawsuits. The latest preliminary injunction is a temporary decision, but still blocks county prosecutors in the state from prosecuting abortion care providers and those receiving abortion care.
As of Friday, Aug. 19, abortion care is not punishable by law in Michigan.
Defendants are expected to appeal. Judge Cunningham scheduled a pre-trial for Nov. 21.
The many lawsuits seeking to uphold or strike down the state’s nearly century-old abortion ban have caused some serious confusion. We’ve broken down what happened to lead up to this point in an article right here.