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June 28, 2024
Health Law Weekly

Michigan Judge Enjoins Mandatory 24-Hour Waiting Period, Other Abortion Regulations

  • June 28, 2024

A Michigan judge issued June 25 a preliminary injunction blocking several abortion-related regulations citing a constitutional amendment that enshrined a fundamental right to reproductive freedom in the state.

Michigan Court of Claims Judge Sima G. Patel held that a mandatory 24-hour waiting period and a prohibition on advanced practice clinicians (APC), such as physician assistance and certified nurse midwives, performing abortions were unlikely to survive strict scrutiny.

The court also enjoined most of the state law's mandatory uniform informed consent informational requirements. However, the court refused to block provisions related to oral counseling against coercion and providing resources to victims of domestic violence, saying they presented “a closer call” in the strict-scrutiny analysis.  

The amendment, which voters approved in November 2022, enshrines the right to make and effectuate decisions about all pregnancy-related matters, including abortion care.

Plaintiffs Northland Family Planning Center and Medical Students for Choice brought the challenge to the abortion-related laws, asking the court to strike them down as unconstitutional. Plaintiffs sought injunctive relief barring enforcement of the regulations.

The state defendants largely agreed with plaintiffs but lawyers within the Michigan's attorney general’s office were tapped to defend the laws before the court.

Northland Family Planning Ctr. v. Nessel, No. 24-000011-MM (Mich. Cl. Ct. June 25, 2024).