Judge Blocks Michigan’s Abortion Ban, She’s a Planned Parenthood Donor But Refused to Recuse Herself

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 17, 2022   |   4:02PM   |   Lansing, Michigan

A Michigan judge has blocked the state’s old abortion ban that pre-dates Roe v. Wade — making it so the state will no protect babies from abortion when the Supreme Court is expected to overturn Roe v. Wade next month.

Judge Elizabeth Gleicher, who has come under massive criticism because she is a Planned Parenthood supporter, issued the decision today blocking the 1931 state abortion ban.

“After 50 years of legal abortion in Michigan, there can be no doubt but that the right of personal autonomy and bodily integrity enjoyed by our citizens includes the right of a woman, in consultation with her physician, to terminate a pregnancy,” the judge said in her ruling.

Gleicher made annual donations to Planned Parenthood and represented the group as an attorney in a 1997 case challenging the same abortion ban, which could go back into effect if Roe v. Wade is overturned or if her decision is overturned by a higher court.

Gleicher said other pro-life Michigan laws limiting abortion will remain in full effect.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer called the injunction a victory.

It “sends the message that Michigan’s 1931 law banning abortion, even in cases of rape or incest, should not go into effect even if Roe is overturned,” Whitmer, a Democrat, said. “It will help ensure that Michigan remains a place where women have freedom and control over their own bodies.”

Leading pro-life advocates are upset Gleicher ever decided the case in the first place.

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“Now that we know [Judge] Elizabeth Gleicher is an annual and long-time donor of pro-abortion group Planned Parenthood, it is clear her own beliefs are in direct conflict with the case she is set to rule on,” a spokesperson for the Michigan GOP told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “Judge Gleicher must recuse herself from this case immediately so that the scales of justice remain balanced, fair, and unprejudiced.”

Gleicher, in addition to giving annual donations to Planned Parenthood, represented the organization in a 1997 case which challenged the same abortion ban, the Detroit News reported. She was randomly assigned to the present case, a letter from a court clerk indicated.

“We are consulting with our legal team on this matter,” Right to Life of Michigan told the DCNF. “We believe it would be difficult for Judge Gleicher to stay impartial due to her personal beliefs and long history with Planned Parenthood but for now, we are relying on her comments regarding her ability to judge fairly.”

The Michigan Family Forum says there was even more politics behind the decision.

“Planned Parenthood filed the suit to prohibit Atty. General Nessel and county prosecutors from enforcing the 1931 law. The Attorney General already stated that she would not enforce the law if Roe is overturned,” it said. “Governor Whitmer has filed a similar suit asking the Michigan Supreme Court to declare abortion as a constitutional right. No action on that case has occurred yet. Michigan Family Forum is obviously disappointed in the judge’s decision, but we know that this is not the final word. MFF encourages you to pray for the unborn and for our pro-life allies defending the unborn in this case.”

More than half the country will protect unborn babies by banning all or most abortions when Roe v. Wade is overturned as expected next month.

That estimate comes from the Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion organization previously affiliated with Planned Parenthood, the nation’s biggest abortion company. According to its analysis, 26 states “are certain or likely to ban abortions” if the U.S. Supreme Court gets rid of Roe. That list includes Michigan.

With Justice Samuel Alito authoring a draft opinion overturning Roe that was recently leaked, focus will turn to protecting babies from abortions in as many states as possible. The good news is half the country will legally protect unborn children fairly quickly — with some states starting that protection on day one.

Many states already have taken action to protect unborn babies from abortion in anticipation of the day when Roe will be overturned. The Guttmacher analysis identified 21 states that have laws or constitutional amendments that would ban abortions once the power to do so returns to the states.

These are: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Some of these states still have pre-Roe laws that prohibit abortions, and others have trigger laws that immediately will outlaw the killing of unborn babies in abortions once Roe is overturned. Several also have multiple pro-life laws in place including heartbeat laws and other legislation that would limit or ban abortions if the courts allow them to do so.

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Additionally, Guttmacher predicts that five more states would move quickly to protect unborn babies from abortion if Roe is overturned. Florida, Indiana, Montana, Nebraska and Wyoming have passed a number of pro-life laws in recent years, and they likely would take action “as soon as possible” to protect unborn babies by passing abortion bans, according to the analysis.

Altogether, these actions would result in hundreds of thousands of unborn babies being spared from abortion every year. Recently, a group of 154 economists and researchers estimated that abortion numbers would drop by about 120,000 in the first year and potentially even more in subsequent years if the high court overturns Roe and allows states to ban abortions again.

Other analyses have predicted anywhere from eight to 31 states would end abortions if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade. In 2018, the pro-abortion group NARAL predicted 13 states would immediately ban abortions. A previous estimate by the Center for Reproductive Rights put the number at 31 states.

Currently, states are forced to legalize abortions for any reason up to viability under Roe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Because of these cases, the U.S. is one of only seven countries in the world that allows elective abortions up to birth. Since 1973, about 63 million unborn babies and hundreds, perhaps thousands, of mothers have died in supposedly “safe,” legal abortions.

In December, the Supreme Court heard a major abortion case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, that directly challenges Roe. Lawyers for the state of Mississippi urged the court to overturn its 1973 abortion ruling and allow states to protect unborn babies from abortion again.

Pro-life advocates also are working to expand support services for pregnant and parenting moms in anticipation that Roe may be overturned.