In an order issued Wednesday, Michigan Court of Claims Judge Elizabeth Glacher permanently barred Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel from enforcing the 1931 law. She instructed the Commissioner to inform the county attorney she oversees that the law had been declared unconstitutional.
The court ruled that the law violated the due process and equal protection clauses of the Michigan Constitution. The law “is ostensibly unconstitutional because its enforcement would deprive pregnant women of their rights to bodily integrity and autonomy and of the equal protection of the law,” said Glacher. writing.
The 1931 law, which was annulled in the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, prohibits abortion, even in cases of rape and incest, except in the case of saving the life of the woman. In anticipation of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Law, Michigan’s Planned Parenthood and State Physician filed a lawsuit in April, arguing that Michigan law violates the state’s constitution. State Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer also filed a separate lawsuit to prevent the law from taking effect.
In response to Wednesday’s ruling, Nessel said in a statement, “Abortion is essential medical care and this order ensures all women in Michigan have access to reproductive care.”
In a statement, Democrats said, “As Attorney General, I have used my department’s resources to ensure access to care at every opportunity. It should not be left to discretion. “All Michigans have a duty to ensure that their rights are maintained and protected.”
Nessel’s office confirmed she has no plans to appeal the judge’s decision to the Michigan Supreme Court. He said he would not.
However, the Republican-led Michigan House of Representatives and Senators were allowed to intervene as defendants and could appeal.
“This decision is likely to be challenged, and we know that there are extremist groups that will go to great lengths to ban abortion, even in cases of rape and incest,” Whitmer said in a post-judgment statement. said.
“Our rights are still on a string, so the Michigan Supreme Court needs to give certainty and adjudication to my case to protect abortion rights in the state constitution,” the governor continued. “I will continue to use every tool in my toolbox to protect women, nurses and doctors here in Michigan.”
CNN’s Omar Jimenez contributed to this report.