MICHIGAN, USA — A Michigan judge approved a temporary restraining order filed by Governor Whitmer late Monday afternoon.
It comes after the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled earlier in the day that county prosecutors could enforce the 1931 law.
Governor Whitmer's request for the temporary restraining order says the abortion ban is unconstitutional and could cause irreparable harm, while others say the law is not unconstitutional and the court system went behind their backs to grant this request.
West Michigan OB-GYN Dr. Melissa Bayne says she's feeling relieved to hear that the legal right to abortion is still protected in Michigan.
"For abortion care providers and physicians, this gives them some legal coverage, per se, to continue to practice medicine right now without the threat of prosecution," she says.
The temporary restraining order is against 13 county prosecutors to keep them from enforcing the ban and charging doctors who perform abortions in their jurisdictions.
A circuit court judge suspended that law back in May while the case continued in court. There are currently two lawsuits challenging the abortion ban.
Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker has said before that this law did not apply to county prosecutors. Prior to the granted request for a temporary restraining order, Becker issued a statement:
"I have been informed that the Michigan Court of Appeals has ruled that county prosecutors are not bound by the injunction issued in Planned Parenthood of Michigan v Attorney General of the State of Michigan. I appreciate the clarification issued by the court in that case; as the court recognized and as I believed, the decision in that case applied only to state actors. It never applied to county prosecutors.
With that said, nothing changes from the statement I issued weeks ago. I cannot and will not ignore a validly passed law. If a report is presented to this office, we will review it like we do any other report of possible criminal behavior. We will make the decision to charge, or not to charge/ based on the facts presented in the report and the applicable Michigan law.
To this date no reports have been sent to this office for review."
David Kallman, Becker's attorney and senior legal counsel with the Great Lakes Justice Center, says they didn't have time to respond to the restraining order this afternoon.
"Michigan's law right now, as it stands, is there is no right to an abortion under Michigan's constitution," he says. "So this judge took a non existent constitutional right. And then rule but they were entitled to a temporary restraining order to bar a prosecutor from following the law. It's outrageous what they did here."
The Great Lakes Justice Center and Alliance Defending Freedom represent Right to Life Michigan.
"We will continue to defend pro life laws because our laws should protect all innocent lives," ADF Senior Counsel Denise Harle.
In a statement after the temporary restraining order was granted, Harle says:
"Today’s order stopped abortion advocates’ efforts to bar Michigan’s pro-life law without meaningful opposition. Now they’re trying again in the Oakland County Circuit Court, requesting that the court block the law without even hearing from the other side. The Governor’s motion is groundless. The Michigan Court of Appeals already held that the Michigan Constitution does not confer a right to abortion, and Governor Whitmer has already recognized that the Court of Claims is bound by this ruling."
For Dr. Bayne, she's encouraging those who need medical care to continue to seek it.
"For myself, (I) can continue to reassure women that we can continue to practice full scope obstetrics and gynecology as we have been in Michigan," she says.
A virtual court hearing on this matter has been set on this matter.
►Make it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this. Download the 13 ON YOUR SIDE app now.
Have a news tip? Email email@example.com, visit our Facebook page or Twitter. Subscribe to our YouTube channel.