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Judge issues injunction to block Michigan abortion ban

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An Oakland County judge issued an injunction Friday that continues to block enforcement of a 1931 law that would ban abortion in Michigan. Under the injunction, abortion remains legal in the state.

JudgeJacob Cunningham said allowing the law to take effect would continue to cause stress and confusion among women and abortion providers.

“A person carrying a child has the right to bodily autonomy and integrity, as well as a safe doctor-patient relationship free from government interference as they have been able to do so for nearly 50 years,” he said in a ruling read from the bench. “Weaponizing the criminal law against providers to force pregnancy on our state’s women is simply contrary to due process, equal protection and bodily autonomy in this court’s eyes.”

After ordering the injunction, Cunningham set the next court date for late November – after the next election and possibly a ballot question to adopt a reproductive rights amendment.

Cunningham said that could settle the issue without a court ruling.

“The ultimate expression of political power in this country comes not from the branches of our government and those that serve as public officials in them, but from the people,” he said.

The order, even if it’s temporary, could lay to rest some immediate concerns about the status of abortion rights. Doctor Natasha Bagdasarian is Michigan’s chief medical executive.

“It actually criminalizes anything that induces miscarriage, and I think this is confusing for doctors and patients around the state,” she told Michigan Public Radio.

An attorney for Republican prosecutors who want to enforce the abortion say this decision will be challenged.

“We’re going to appeal,” said David Kallman. “That’s the way the process works. We’re going to go up to the Court of Appeals.”

Kallman said a key element of a challenge would be the governor’s status to be a plaintiff. He has 21 days to file an appeal and then the case would be randomly assigned to a three-judge panel.

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Rick Pluta is the managing editor for the Michigan Public Radio Network.
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