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ACLU plans court challenge as Michigan moves closer to banning abortion procedure

Rick Pluta
Michigan Public Radio

Right to Life of Michigan has submitted what it says is enough signatures to move a proposed abortion ban on to state legislators, and the ACLU of Michigan says it’s already planning a court challenge.

The proposal would ban an abortion procedure called dilation and evacuation, the most common method used during the second trimester of pregnancy.

If the state board of canvassers approves the petition, the Republican-controlled state legislature could approve the measure, and it would automatically become law. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer could not veto it.

So opponents are looking to their last avenue to stop it—the federal courts.

“If-when the Michigan legislature passes this, we’re prepared to challenge it in court,” says the ACLU’s Merissa Kovach.

Kovach says dilation and evacuation is a safe and sometimes necessary abortion procedure. A ban “would force physicians to practice against their best judgment, and to provide substandard medical care,” she said.

Kovach says the law would also be unconstitutional. Federal courts have blocked similar lawsin other states, but it’s one of a host of abortion-restriction laws that are ultimately likely to be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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