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Court seeks more from Whitmer about abortion ban challenge

The Michigan Supreme Court says it wants more information from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer about her request to erase a state abortion ban from decades ago
FILE - Ion this Feb. 12, 2019 file photo, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer delivers her State of...
FILE - Ion this Feb. 12, 2019 file photo, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer delivers her State of the State address to a joint session of the House and Senate at the state Capitol in Lansing, Mich. Whitmer wants to spend billions more to fix the roads and boost a lagging education system. But as the Democrat prepares to deliver her first budget proposal to the Republican-led Legislature, she faces fiscal and political pressures that are complicating her task. She notes the general fund has not grown much. The budget is Whitmer's chance to detail how she plans to "fix the damn roads" and pay for priorities like letting high school graduates attend community college for free. (AP Photo/Al Goldis, File)(Al Goldis | AP)
Published: May. 20, 2022 at 4:08 PM EDT
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DETROIT (AP) — The Michigan Supreme Court said Friday it wants more information from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer about her request to erase a state abortion ban from decades ago.

The court wants five points addressed, including whether it needs to immediately get involved, especially after a judge at the Court of Claims this week froze the dormant law with an injunction.

“We direct the governor to file a brief with this court within 14 days of the date of this order, providing a further and better statement of the questions and the facts,” the court said.

The U.S. Supreme Court could be on the verge of overturning Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide. If that happens, abortion would be an issue for states.

Whitmer wants the Michigan Supreme Court to declare that a 1931 ban on abortion is illegal under the state constitution. What's unusual is she wants the court to reach over lower courts and settle it quickly.

“Michigan’s Due Process Clause provides rights to privacy and bodily autonomy,” Whitmer said in her April 7 letter to the Supreme Court.

Separately, Planned Parenthood of Michigan won a decision Tuesday from Judge Elizabeth Gleicher at the Court of Claims, who said the law likely is unconstitutional. She suspended the law with a preliminary injunction while the case proceeds.

The Supreme Court could wait to get involved until that case bubbles up as a possible appeal.

Abortion opponents are urging the court to deny Whitmer's request. Right to Life of Michigan and the Michigan Catholic Conference said there is no controversy since abortion remains legal in Michigan and elsewhere.

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further and better statement of the questions and the facts.