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Tipsheet

Michigan Attorneys Stand Against Corrupt Judge, Vow to Prosecute Abortionists

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File

The state of Michigan has preserved the legality of abortion for now, but some attorneys have promised to prosecute abortionists despite the state's current legislation.

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Michigan has a complex stew of legislation surrounding abortion. Under Roe, a 1931 law that established a near total ban on abortion in the state was dormant. That law would have become active again after last week's SCOTUS ruling in Dobbs v Jackson, but pro-abortion Michigan Judge Elizabeth Gleicher granted a preliminary injunction in a suit filed by Planned Parenthood of Michigan to keep it off the books.

The injunction says the 1931 abortion ban "likely violates the Michigan constitution." As Townhall has reported, Gleicher is an outspoken abortion advocate and regularly donates to Planned Parenthood, but somehow she was allowed to preside over a case filed by an organization she has such close ties with. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI) has also filed a lawsuit in an attempt to keep abortion legal in the state.

One attorney in Kent County, Michigan, which is home to Grand Rapids, has promised to adhere to the 1931 law and prosecute violators of it. Christopher Becker is a public prosecutor for Kent County and said in a press release:

I do not believe it proper for me to simply ignore a law, any law, that was passed by the Michigan Legislature and signed by the Governor. In our system of government, the legislature passes a law, and the executive branch, including prosecutors, enforces those laws. I have always held it would be improper for me to pick and choose the laws I wish to enforce that have been validly passed and signed. I will not start now.

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Becker also described what the law actually means and how he will enforce it:

To dispel any confusion about the law, [it] does not allow for charges to be filed against the woman seeking or getting an abortion. It only allows for charges to be filed against a doctor performing an abortion.

Becker said he is not doing this as a way to fight against the law but rather to uphold it faithfully as he and all lawyers have promised to do:

I will abide by whatever laws are passed by the legislature or by voter initiative down the road. That is the proper role of a prosecutor. At this time, however, there is a validly passed statute which has been upheld by the Court of Appeals in the past and I will not turn a blind eye and ignore it. To do so in my opinion would be improper.

Another Michigan lawyer, David Kallman, is based in Lansing and represents prosecutors in Kent and Jackson counties. He has also promised to adhere to the 1931 abortion ban and says Gleicher's temporary injunction only applies at the state level, not the county level (via Bridge Michigan):

If there's any prosecutor in this state right now today, and the police came to them with an investigation showing a doctor performed an abortion in violation of the statute, a prosecutor could prosecute right now — today — if they wanted to.

Gleicher's opinion on Planned Parenthood of Michigan's case lists the 4 criteria Planned Parenthood had to reach to get the injunction granted:

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A party seeking a preliminary injunction bears the burden of demonstrating entitlement to relief based on the following factors: (1) the likelihood that the party seeking the injunction will prevail on the merits, (2) the danger that the party seeking the injunction will suffer irreparable harm if the injunction is not issued, (3) the risk that the party seeking the injunction would be harmed more by the absence of an injunction than the opposing party would be by the granting of the relief, and (4) the harm to the public interest if the injunction is issued.

According to Gleicher, Planned Parenthood of Michigan reached these criteria. It is not shocking she thought Planned Parenthood, which she supports financially, sufficiently proved that it would "suffer irreparable harm" without the injunction — it would not be able to carry out its business of ending lives without Gleicher's legal protection.

Since before the Dobbs decision, Whitmer has been promising to "fight like hell" to protect abortion "rights" in the state. 

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