Judge says Whitmer won't have to testify in abortion lawsuit

Posted at 5:42 PM, Aug 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-12 17:43:16-04

PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) — A judge turned down a request to have Gov. Gretchen Whitmer testify next week at a hearing about Michigan's 1931 anti-abortion law.

A judge said Whitmer is suing a group of county prosecutors in her role as governor, not a private citizen. An appeal is being pursued by lawyers representing prosecutors in Kent and Jackson counties.

Oakland County Judge Jacob Cunningham will hear arguments Wednesday about whether to issue an injunction and further suspend enforcement of the law, which makes it a crime to perform abortions unless the life of the mother is in danger.

A restraining order has been in place since Aug. 1.

Cunningham got involved when the state appeals court said a May decision suspending the law applied to the attorney general's office but not prosecutors.

Most prosecutors in counties were abortion services are offered said they don't plan to enforce the law. But Republican prosecutors in Kent and Jackson counties said they can't rule out a case if police investigate and possibly seek a warrant.

Whitmer and others in favor of abortion rights say the 1931 law violates the state constitution. The law was dormant until the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, leaving abortion policy to states.