Pro-life groups ask courts to uphold Michigan’s abortion law, call for judge’s recusal


The Michigan Catholic Conference and Right to Life of Michigan have filed a legal brief expressing their opposition to lawsuits filed by Planned Parenthood and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who are seeking to overturn Michigan’s 1931 ban on abortion, which would go back into effect if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

The pro-life groups are represented by Alliance Defending Freedom. They seek the dismissal of the lawsuits on the basis that they violate state law, and note that in expressing that she won’t uphold the abortion ban, the state’s Attorney General Dana Nessel is also in violation of the law.

“Michigan’s elected officials have a duty to uphold the law and protect all their citizens, including the innocent lives of unborn children,” said ADF senior counsel John Bursch. “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.”

The Michigan Catholic Conference issued a statement about its involvement in fighting the lawsuits. “The right to life for unborn children and its inherent value given by our Creator cannot be reduced to a legal opinion or legislative vote,” it said. “Our hope is that a greater respect for the distinct and separate branches of state government returns to the political sphere, and we pray for a deeper appreciation for the life and protection of unborn children in the hearts and minds of the citizens and elected officials of the state.”

READ: Michigan governor teams with Planned Parenthood to overturn abortion ban

As the statement issued by the Michigan Catholic Conference pointed out, Whitmer has filed a lawsuit asking the courts to nullify the state’s ban on abortion, while also separately asking the courts to affirm that the right to abortion already exists within the state constitution. In its lawsuit, however, Planned Parenthood is also asking that the right to abortion be added to the constitution — a contradiction that pro-lifers say should influence the courts in overturning the lawsuits.

The ADF is also calling for the Court of Claims judge in the Planned Parenthood lawsuit, Elizabeth Gleicher, to recuse herself for conflict of interest. In its suit, Planned Parenthood is represented by the ACLU. According to The Detroit News, Gleicher previously worked for the ACLU, arguing cases on behalf of Planned Parenthood. She is also a current annual donor to the abortion giant.

“Right to Life and the Michigan Catholic Conference are also deeply concerned that this case has been assigned to a Michigan Court of Claims judge 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,” Bursch wrote in his brief.

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

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