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Judge strikes down 1931 Michigan law criminalizing abortion

Abortion Michigan
Paul Sancya/AP
/
AP
FILE - Abortion rights protesters attend a rally outside the state Capitol in Lansing, Mich., on June 24, 2022, following the United States Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Judge Elizabeth Gleicher, of the Court of Claims, on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2022, struck down Michigan's 1931 anti-abortion law, months after suspending it. Judge Gleicher said the law, long dormant before U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, violates the Michigan Constitution. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

A judge on Wednesday struck down Michigan's 1931 anti-abortion law, months after suspending it, in the the latest development involving abortion rights in a state where the issue is being fought in courtrooms and, possibly, at the ballot box.

The law, which was long dormant before the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, violates the Michigan Constitution, said Judge Elizabeth Gleicher.

The decision comes as the Michigan Supreme Court still is considering whether to place a proposed amendment on the Nov. 8 ballot that would add abortion rights to the state constitution. A Friday deadline is looming.

Supporters submitted more than 700,000 signatures, easily clearing the threshold. But a tie vote by the Board of State Canvassers over spacing issues on the petition has kept it off the ballot so far.

In the case handled by Gleicher, the 1931 law makes it a crime to perform abortions unless the life of the mother is in danger.

"A law denying safe, routine medical care not only denies women of their ability to control their bodies and their lives — it denies them of their dignity," Gleicher of the Court of Claims wrote. "Michigan's Constitution forbids this violation of due process."

She suspended the law in May with an injunction. Her latest decision applies to all state and local prosecutors in Michigan.

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