Right to Life of Michigan, Michigan Catholic Conference say Planned Parenthood’s challenge to abortion law invalid

By Dave Andrusko

Right to Life of Michigan and the Michigan Catholic Conference are challenging Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit against the state’s 1931 abortion law. They are represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom whose friend-of-the-court brief was submitted today.

ADF’s senior counsel John Bursch argued that Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit violates state law and should be dismissed.

“Planned Parenthood’s suit was filed in the Michigan Court of Claims, almost in tandem with a similar suit by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer filed in Oakland County Circuit Court against 13 county prosecutors who may be called on to enforce the 1931 law in counties where abortion clinics are present,” Mike Martindale of the Detroit News reported.

Attorney General Dana Nessel, a Democrat, has said she would not enforce the 1931 law should Roe v. Wade be overturned. Gov. Whitmer has repeatedly said she wants to see the Legislature repeal the nine-decade-old law.

In a statement Bursch said, “Michigan’s elected officials have a duty to uphold the law and protect all their citizens, including the innocent lives of unborn children.” He added, “Yet what we are seeing is the state’s top attorney general engaged in an unacceptable effort to attack a pro-life law that has existed peaceably with the state constitution for more than half a century. “

“We urge the court to swiftly dismiss this case because it not only lacks jurisdiction—both sides of the case are arguing for the exact same outcome—but also because it is based on a hypothetical situation. No matter how someone feels about abortion, they should be gravely concerned that Michigan’s attorney general refuses to defend a validly enacted and longstanding law.”

In the lawsuit, Right to Life of Michigan and the Michigan Catholic Conference said they “are also deeply concerned that this case has been assigned to a Michigan Court of Claims judge [Elizabeth L. Gleicher] who has not yet recused but previously, in private practice, represented parties in litigation to invalidate Michigan pro-life laws while working with Plaintiffs’ counsel, the ACLU; who has received an award from Planned Parenthood; and who remains an annual and longtime contributor to Plaintiff Planned Parenthood.”

“Remarkably, this will result in a judge indirectly funding the very action over which she presides.”