Judicial Update on Reproductive Health Care

In a recent development regarding abortion access in Michigan, Attorney General Dana Nessel has responded to a lawsuit challenging abortion restrictions which remain in Michigan law despite the state’s recent constitutional amendment protecting reproductive health care. Nessel’s stance underscores the ongoing debate surrounding reproductive health care access. She expressed agreement with the legal challenge which argues that the restrictions still contained in our laws are unconstitutional and stated that she will not oppose a preliminary injunction to halt their enforcement.

The lawsuit, titled Northland Family Planning Center v. Nessel, challenges several laws, including mandatory waiting periods and counseling requirements for abortion patients, as well as prohibitions on advanced practice clinicians providing abortion care.

The plaintiffs, represented by the Center for Reproductive Rights, argue that while the Reproductive Health Act passed in 2023 repealed many state abortion restrictions, certain laws remain in place, violating the constitutional amendment.

In response to the lawsuit, Nessel, along with Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Acting Director Marlon Brown and Department of Health and Human Services Director Elizabeth Hertel, have been named as defendants. Nessel has implemented a conflict wall in the matter, assigning a team of assistant attorneys general, led by Deputy Solicitor General Eric Restuccia, to defend the challenged provisions on behalf of the state.

We will continue to monitor this issue and provide updates as they develop.