Oakland County judge blocks county prosecutors from enforcing abortion ban

A ruling issued Monday by a three-judge Michigan Court of Appeals panel could allow Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker and other county prosecutors to prosecute individuals who violate Michigan's 91-year-old ban on abortion.

Lansing — Oakland County Circuit Judge Jacob J. Cunningham issued a temporary restraining order Monday stopping 13 county prosecutors with abortion providers within their jurisdictions from enforcing the state’s abortion ban.

The order was issued as state officials scrambled to respond to a Court of Appeals ruling Monday morning that found county prosecutors could enforce the state’s long-dormant abortion ban by a May preliminary injunction issued in the Court of Claims.

In his order granting Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s request for a temporary restraining order, Cunningham said the order was “necessary to prevent the immediate and irreparable injury that will occur if defendants are allowed to prosecute abortion providers under (the 1931 law) without a full resolution of the merits of the pending cases challenging the statute.”

The judge scheduled a Zoom hearing on the matter for Wednesday.

Cunningham’s order came shortly after Whitmer made the request in her lawsuit against 13 county prosecutors with abortion clinics in their counties.


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