Michigan Partial-Birth Abortion Ban on Hold While Lawsuit Proceeds

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 14, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Michigan Partial-Birth Abortion Ban on Hold While Lawsuit Proceeds

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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
March 14, 2005

Lansing, MI (LifeNews.com) — As is typical when any state legislature passes legislation to limit abortions, pro-abortion activists have succeeded in getting a law put on hold while its lawsuit seeking to declare it unconstitutional proceeds.

In Michigan, Attorney General Mike Cox reached an agreement with abortion advocates to put off enforcing a new law that bans partial-birth abortions.

The hold will keep the law from being in place until June 15. It was scheduled to take effect at the end of the month.

U.S. District Judge Denise Page Hood approved the agreement on Monday.

A representative of Cox’s office told the Associated Press that the state’s top attorney needed more time to respond to the lawsuit, filed earlier this month.

"Attorney General Cox is doing everything he can to prepare adequately to defend the voice of the people of Michigan," Allison Pierce said. "We had a week to respond. We can’t adequately prepare a response in that amount of time."

Ed Rivet, legislative director for Right to Life of Michigan, said he was not surprised the delay was approved.

The state legislature gave final approval to the Legal Birth Definition Act in June 2004 after Governor Jennifer Granholm vetoed the bill. Pro-life groups obtained the signatures of over 460,000 people to bring the measure before the legislature in a veto-proof form.

The Legal Birth Definition Act seeks to ban the partial-birth abortion procedure by defining a moment of birth as the time when any part of the baby is visible outside the mother.

The ACLU, the Center for Reproductive Rights, a pro-abortion law firm, and Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the nation’s largest abortion business, filed the lawsuit in a federal district court in Detroit.

The groups argue that the measure could be construed as a ban on all forms of abortion.

While two previous partial birth abortion bans in Michigan were struck down by the courts in 1996 and 1999, supporters of the Legal Birth Definition Act say it was specifically written to pass the constitutionality tests.

While President Bush recently signed a Partial-Birth Abortion Ban into law, the federal version differs from Michigan’s in that it expressly bans the partial-birth abortion procedure. It is currently being blocked until its constitutionality can be determined.

Related web sites:
Right to Life of Michigan – https://www.rtl.org