Right to Life of Michigan and Michigan Catholic Conference seek to intervene in defense of state’s pro-life law

By Dave Andrusko 

The Alliance for Defending Freedom, representing Right to Life of Michigan and the Michigan Catholic Conference, asked the Michigan Court of Appeals Monday to allow it to defend the 1931 law in the ongoing Planned Parenthood of Michigan v. Attorney General of the State of Michigan.

Both Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel are pro-abortion and neither will intervene to defend the law. “In a highly unusual move, the Democratic attorney general said she will not even set up a conflict wall in her office to defend the case, not unless or until she is ordered by a court,” The Detroit News’ Beth LeBlanc wrote back in April.

“I don’t want to use the resources of my offices and I don’t think I should be made to use the resources of my office to enforce a law that I know will result in women dying in this state,” Nessel said. “I didn’t become attorney general so I could head an office that put women in a position in which some of them would likely die.” 

Whitmer is attacking the same law from a different direction in Whitmer v. Linderman. ADF attorneys filed a separate motion at the Michigan Supreme Court asking the court to allow the two pro-life groups to intervene in the governor’s attack on the pro-life law.

“ADF argues that Right to Life of Michigan and the Michigan Catholic Conference should also be given intervention on appeal to defend Michigan’s pro-life law where the attorney general has chosen not to defend it,” Bruce Walker reported.

“Michigan’s elected officials have a duty to uphold and defend the law, especially laws that protect the unborn,” said ADF Senior Counsel and Vice President of Appellate Advocacy John Bursch. “Attorney General Nessel should be doing everything in her power to uphold existing laws that protect the innocent and vulnerable lives of the unborn. Instead, she continues to attack a law that was rightly enacted by the people of Michigan and has been serving them well for more than 90 years. We urge the court to listen to the voices of those standing up in defense of the unborn—Right to Life of Michigan and the Michigan Catholic Conference—by allowing them to intervene in this lawsuit.”

The 1931 law was “triggered” back in June when the U.S. Supreme Court overruled the Roe v. Wade decision. “However, both Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Nessel vowed to uphold abortion rights in Michigan by declaring they would not enforce the 1931 law,” Walker reported.

“The Court of Appeals declared the law unenforceable last May, and Judge Elizabeth Gleicher issued an injunction prohibiting enforcement of the law,” Walker wrote. “Gleicher was revealed to be a donor to Planned Parenthood and recipient of the organization’s 1998 Advocate Award. The judge also donated to Nessel’s inaugural run as attorney general.”