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Whitmer urges Michigan Supreme Court to consider abortion rights lawsuit

The request comes after a day of court rulings that left Michiganders and healthcare providers confused on where abortion rights stand in the state.

MICHIGAN, USA — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has renewed her request for the Michigan Supreme Court to consider her lawsuit that could add abortion rights as a constitutional right in the state.

Gov. Whitmer first filed the lawsuit on April 7 in anticipation of the overturn of Roe v. Wade, which guaranteed the right to a legal abortion, by the Supreme Court of the United States. She has since asked the Michigan Supreme Court to take up her lawsuit on June 24 and Aug. 4. 

The renewed request comes after the Court of Appeals Monday ruled county prosecutors could enforce the 1931 abortion ban that remains on the books. The ban does not allow exceptions for rape or incest and would allow abortion providers to be charged. In May, a judge issued a temporary injunction that stopped the law from going into effect immediately after the overturn of Roe v. Wade. 

Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker said he would investigate any reports related to illegal abortions and "cannot and will not ignore a validly passed law".

Gov. Whitmer then secured a temporary restraining order that keeps county prosecutors from enforcing the ban. An Oakland County judge maintained the restraining order Wednesday, saying that the court finds the request "absolutely appropriate".

RELATED: Temporary restraining order blocks Michigan abortion ban enforcement

Gov. Whitmer says the Supreme Court should consider her lawsuit to clear up confusion caused by the recent rulings.

“The current lack of legal clarity has already caused confusion for women, doctors and nurses, and health care systems multiple times,” said Gov. Whitmer in a release. “Monday’s fire drill is yet another example of why the Michigan Supreme Court must act. A legal patchwork that changes day to day, county to county is untenable. We need certainty that access to abortion is constitutionally protected in Michigan. Every day we delay, health care providers will question if they are able to provide care safely, or if their work will lead to prosecution and possible jail time. I will keep fighting like hell to protect Michigan women.” 

Reproductive Freedom for All gathered enough signatures to get an abortion initiative on the ballot in November, where Michiganders will choose whether to enshrine those rights in the state's Constitution.

Whitmer's full request to the court can be read here.

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