Abortion rights court hearing to head into second day
A court hearing in Oakland County on the status of abortion rights in Michigan is heading into a second day.
Oakland County Circuit Court JudgeJacob Cunningham opened Wednesday’s hearing by continuing his temporary restraining order barring prosecutors in 13 counties from filing charges against abortion providers under a dormant 1931 state law. Cunningham is faced with a decision on whether to extend that order while the case plays out or to allow the abortion ban to be enforced at the discretion of local prosecutors.
Doctor Natasha Bagdasarian is the Michigan chief medical executive. She testified that, without an extension, doctors and patients don’t know what to expect from day to day.
“We at the Department of Health and Human Services and myself personally have received questions about what is legal right now,” she said. “It’s difficult for me to provide guidance on what physicians can and cannot do right now if things are left up to local county prosecutors. I think there’s a lot of confusion in the medical community.”
David Kallman represents county prosecutors who say it should be their call on whether to charge abortion providers. He argued the governor doesn’t have standing to make that request.
“And to allow this lawsuit will open the floodgates for future governors to challenge and repeal any statute that they don’t like,” he said.
The governor’s legal team said her request is proper because her constitutional responsibilities include protecting public health and safety.
The governor has a separate motion in the case asking the Michigan Supreme Court to step in and declare abortion rights are protected in the state.
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