“Judicial opinion that goes too far in resolving this issue usurps the power of the legislature, exacerbates polarization and stifles the potential for democratic resolution and public consent,” lawmakers argued in the legal document.
The US Supreme Court decision in June that Roe v. Wade was repealed leaving the issue of abortion rights to the individual states. In Michigan, Roe’s reversal revived a 1931 state law outlawing abortion outright. However, reenactment of that ban was blocked by Gleicher’s injunction in May, when a leaked draft of the Supreme Court’s advisory opinion was released, signaling Roe’s death.
The Michigan legislature should be allowed to consider a review of Michigan’s abortion laws without court interference, attorneys for House and Senate Republicans wrote when challenging the injunction in the Michigan Circuit Court of Appeals. The case and request for a restraining order came from Michigan-based abortion provider Planned Parenthood.
Gleicher, a Planned Parenthood donor who has also represented the organization in the past, declined to evade hearing the case, saying she could remain impartial. In her order, which issued an injunction, the judge concluded that Planned Parenthood and potential abortion patients “would face a serious risk of irreparable harm if they were prevented from accessing abortion services” if Roe were overthrown.
Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers in Michigan have continued to provide abortions since the Supreme Court’s decision overthrowing Roe in June. Abortion-right advocates, aware of the temporary nature of the injunction as the case progresses, are collecting hundreds of thousands of signatures in a bid to secure a November vote that would enshrine abortion rights in the state constitution.
Separately, Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has petitioned the Michigan Supreme Court, asking him to address Michigan’s insecurity by answering head-on about whether Michigan’s constitution already protects abortion rights.
In its first complaint, Planned Parenthood argued that the 1931 statute — which prohibits abortion except to save the mother’s life — was so vaguely written that “sheriffs, prosecutors, and courts could have broad discretion to assert that a set of unspecified medical practices are crimes.”
That would leave physicians in the “precarious position of not knowing what actions they might prosecute or might prosecute,” attorneys wrote in the original complaint.