Michigan abortion case could be decided today as arguments continue in Oakland County court

Law doesn't like uncertainty and right now, there's a lot of it in regard to abortion in Michigan. 

Does the Michigan constitution grant the right to an abortion? Does the law banning assisted suicide also pertain to before the life is born? And will any of this matter come November when voters cast a ballot on a petition to legalize the practice?

At least some of those questions will see some resolution after a two-day hearing in Oakland County where legal teams representing both pro and anti-abortion stances are debating the practice and the temporary restraining order preventing the law that bans the practice from being enforced.

In a call-back to the infamous doctor who was caught performing assisted suicides, Attorney David Kallmann said the law on abortion was already decided when the state ruled Jack Kevorkian did not have the right to take a life even when it wants to, so why would someone have the right to end it before it is born?

"There's no way this court should be granting a preliminary injunction on a right that doesn't exist and try to manufacture something under bodily integrity that Kevorkian and all these other cases don't support," said Kallman. "There's never been a case that said there is a right to an abortion under bodily integrity ever."

Kallman is representing county prosecutors who argue they should be allowed to pursue enforcing Michigan's 1931-era law that bans the practice without exception for rape or incest. 

But attorneys for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who is suing the prosecutors, say the law is from a different era and doesn't have legitimate relevance in today's discourse.

"In the 1930s, there was a movement against women's increasing participation in civic life and political life and the anti-abortion movement sprung out of that to try and return women to what was seen as their rightful place as mothers," said Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit.

Kallman said laws are not invalid "just because they're old."

Testimony was also given, including from one doctor who said there is more trauma sustained during an unhealthy pregnancy than an abortion.  

Oakland County Judge Jacob Cunningham ordered the temporary restraining order on the ban be extended until Aug. 18 while he hears arguments. A decision could come from him as soon as this afternoon.

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But the conclusion of this case will only bring temporary relief to team with the successful argument with a pending ballot petition which would enshrine the right to an abortion in the state constitution if it passes in November.

The nonprofit that worked to get the petition on the ballot secured the highest number of signatures ever, an indication of the energy behind the topic which is proving to heavily influence the arguments from politicians leading into the 2022 Midterms.