The Great Lakes Justice Center said Monday it will represent two county prosecutors in Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s lawsuit to overturn Michigan’s 1931 abortion ban.

Whitmer’s lawsuit filed earlier this month challenging a 1931 ban on abortion came in anticipation that the U.S. Supreme Court could overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that enshrined abortion as a constitutional right.

The lawsuit names 13 county prosecutors, seven Democrats and six Republicans, who may be called on to enforce the 1931 law in counties where abortion clinics are present. 

Governor Gretchen Whitmer announces the details of the Building Michigan Together plan during a press conference, Monday, March 28, 2022 in St. Clair Shores.

In a statement earlier this month, seven of those county prosecutors, all Democrats, said they supported the governor in her effort and would not enforce the 1931 law should Roe be overturned.

The Justice Center will defend two Republicans, Jackson County Prosecutor Jerard Jarzynkaand Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker against the “frivolous and meritless lawsuit,” the center said in a news release. 

Whitmer’s lawsuit was filed almost in tandem with a similar suit by Planned Parenthood of Michigan. The suits contain similar arguments but differ in that Planned Parenthood’s litigation was filed in the Michigan Court of Claims, while Whitmer filed in Oakland County Circuit Court. She said she was using her executive authority to seek immediate intervention from the Michigan Supreme Court rather than go through the lower state courts first. The state’s high court has a 4-3 majority of Democratic-nominated justices.


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