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Kent County’s Prosecutor signals cautious approach following U.S. Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade

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Kent County Prosecutor's Office-Jonathan Ritter
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Christopher Becker

The constitutionality of Michigan’s 1931 law outlawing abortion will ultimately be decided by the Michigan Supreme Court.

In May, the Michigan Court of Claims sided with Planned Parenthood of Michigan and Dr. Sarah Wallett granting a preliminary injunction blocking the enforcement of Michigan’s 1931 law outlawing abortion.

In reference to that law, Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker issued a statement Monday that he will enforce laws that are on the books. That includes the 1931 law. While it does not criminally charge a woman seeking or receiving an abortion, it is a crime for a doctor to perform the operation.

“Prosecutors offices routinely and regularly choose not to enforce old and outdated laws.”

Anastase Markou is an attorney with Levine & Levine.

In a news release, Becker does reference two court filings challenging the statute and says those decisions will guide his actions.

“Because there is a restraining order in place, and the restraining order specifically references the officials the Attorney General supervises, it’s a real risk for any prosecutor to charge anybody under that statute with that restraining order in existence.”

Governor Gretchen Whitmer is asking the Michigan Supreme Court hear the case now.

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.