Paul Sanxia / AP
DETROIT – A judge on Wednesday overturned a Michigan lawsuit Anti-Abortion Act 1931months after his suspension, the latest development for abortion rights in a state where the issue is being debated in courtrooms and possibly at the ballot box.
A law that has long been dormant in the US Supreme Court overruled by Roe v. Wade in June, violates the Michigan constitution, Judge Elizabeth Gleicher said.
“A law that denies safe routine medical care not only robs women of control over their bodies and lives — it robs them of their dignity,” Gleicher wrote in the lawsuit. “The Michigan Constitution prohibits such a violation of due process.”
The decision comes as the Michigan Supreme Court considers the proposed amendment on the ballot on November 8 it would have added the right to abortion to the state constitution. The deadline is coming up on Friday.
Supporters submitted more than 700,000 signatures, easily breaking the barrier. But a tie vote in the Council of State Agitators on the petition gap has kept her out until now.
In the case dealt with by Gleicher, a 1931 law makes it a crime to perform abortions when the mother’s life is in danger.
The judge recognized that the law “forces motherhood” and does not allow a woman to determine “the shape of her present and future life.”
The law “forces a pregnant woman to relinquish her reproductive choice and instead serves as an ‘involuntary vessel entitled to no more respect than other forms of collective property,'” Gleicher wrote, citing constitutional scholar Lawrence Tribe.
She suspended the law in May with a ban. Her latest decision applies to all state and local prosecutors in Michigan. The Republican-controlled House and Senate may appeal the ruling, which was sued by Planned Parenthood.
In July, Gleicher admitted to being a regular donor to the organization and gave $1,000 to the campaigns of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel, both Democrats who support abortion rights. But that support was not a reason to transfer the case to another judge, said Gleicher, who is also the chief justice of the Michigan Court of Appeals.
In a separate lawsuit, Whitmer repeatedly asked the state Supreme Court to bypass lower courts and settle the status of the 1931 law. The court has not decided whether to intervene.