US District Judge Denise Page Hood has halted enforcement of an abortion ban in Michigan until a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the ban is considered in the coming months. The ban was scheduled to take effect on March 30. As it is written, the ban could potentially criminalize even first-trimester abortions, according to the Center for Reproductive Rights. The ban also makes no provisions for a woman’s mental health or potential threats to her health. Without this exception, the ban could deny women necessary medical care in the event of a miscarriage, or if the woman is suffering from diabetes or cardiac ailments, according to the Center for Reproductive Rights.
Last June, the Michigan legislature voted to override Governor Jennifer Granholm’s (D) veto of the ban. Granholm said she vetoed the bill because “federal courts have repeatedly declared unconstitutional efforts to end partial birth abortion.” In both 1996 and 1999, anti-abortion lawmakers passed abortion procedures bans in Michigan, and both times these bans were declared unconstitutional because of the lack of a health exception.
“Michigan federal courts have twice struck down dangerous abortion bans, and we are confident that when the court considers the ban in this case, it will find it unconstitutional and permanently block its enforcement,” said Linda Rosenthal, staff attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights.