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Michigan Circuit Court Grants Temporary Restraining Order to Protect Nurses and Doctors


August 1, 2022



Michigan Circuit Court Grants Gov. Whitmer’s Temporary Restraining Order to Protect Nurses and Doctors from Prosecution for Providing Care

Governor’s temporary restraining order will prevent county prosecutors from seeking to jail those who provide reproductive health care, keep abortion safe and legal in Michigan

LANSING, Mich. — This evening, the Oakland County 6th Circuit Court granted Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s request for a temporary restraining order after a decision earlier today from the Michigan Court of Appeals that county prosecutors were not covered by an injunction barring prosecution under the state’s extreme 1931 law banning abortion. Now, because of the governor’s action, doctors and nurses in the impacted counties are safe to keep doing their jobs, and women can still access reproductive health care. The governor’s successful request for a temporary restraining order builds on her ongoing efforts to protect abortion in Michigan after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v Jackson overturning a 49-year precedent set by Roe v Wade.

“I am grateful for this relief—however temporary—because it will help ensure that Michigan’s doctors, nurses, and health care systems can continue caring for their patients,” said Governor Whitmer. “Earlier, a decision from the Michigan Court of Appeals cleared a path for county prosecutors to use Michigan’s extreme 1931 abortion ban to prosecute doctors and nurses and jail them for doing their jobs. I immediately filed for a temporary restraining order, and I am proud that the Oakland Circuit Court has approved my request. This lack of legal clarity—that took place within the span of a workday—is yet another textbook example of why the Michigan Supreme Court must take up my lawsuit against the 1931 extreme abortion ban as soon as possible. Michigan’s, doctors, nurses, and health care systems cannot afford to wait any longer. I will keep fighting like hell to protect women and health care providers.”

The temporary restraining order granted by Judge Cunningham can be viewed here.

Governor Whitmer’s Actions to Protect Reproductive Freedom

  • April 7Filed a lawsuit to ask the Michigan Supreme Court to immediately resolve whether Michigan’s constitution protects the right to an abortion.
  • April 7: Penned an op-ed in the Detroit Free Press explaining her action and highlighting that 7 in 10 Michiganders support the rights affirmed by Roe.
  • May 3: Joined 16 other states to urge the United States Senate to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act and enshrine Roe’s protections in federal law.
  • May 9: Penned an op-ed in the New York Times explaining why she isn’t waiting for Congress to act and urging fellow pro-choice governors, state representatives, private businesses, and citizens to take action to protect reproductive rights.
  • May 25: Signed an executive directive instructing state of Michigan departments and agencies to identify and assess opportunities to increase protections for reproductive healthcare, such as contraception. The executive directive also instructs departments not to cooperate with or assist authorities of any state in any investigation or proceeding against anyone for obtaining, providing, or assisting someone else to obtain or provide reproductive healthcare that is legal where the health care is provided.
  • June 23: Launched a new consumer website to educate Michiganders about the availability of no-cost contraception with most insurance plans.
  • June 24: On the day of the Dobbs decision, filed a motion urging the Court to immediately consider her lawsuit.
  • June 27: Followed up with an additional notice to the Court urging them to immediately consider her lawsuit.
  • June 29: Sent a letter to Michigan’s insurers urging them to take steps to ensure Michiganders have coverage for reproductive health care to the fullest extent possible under current coverage.
  • July 6: Joined with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to launch a public effort to educate Michiganders and health care providers about the difference between emergency contraception and medication abortion. The public effort will disseminate information about the differences between medication abortion and emergency contraception to all local health departments throughout Michigan, healthcare providers throughout the state, and the public.
  • July 7: Called on the federal government to clarify and protect Michiganders’ right to cross the US-Canada border to seek reproductive health care or prescription medication including medication abortion.
  • July 11: Urged President Biden to make birth control available over the counter without a prescription.
  • July 13: Signed an executive order refusing to extradite women or health care providers who come to Michigan seeking reproductive freedom.
  • July 22Called on FDA to reduce barriers to medication abortion.