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Abortion-ban restraining order remains in effect; hearing resumes Thursday Aug 18

Protesters hold up signs during an abortion-rights rally on Saturday in Austin, Texas.
Sergio Flores
/
Getty Images
Protesters hold up signs during an abortion-rights rally on Saturday in Austin, Texas.

It was another day of intense, high-stakes legal arguments and testimony to determine whether abortion will still be legal in Michigan.

Two weeks ago, the Court of Appeals ruled county prosecutors can enforce the state's 1931 abortion ban. That same day, Governor Gretchen Whitmer requested, and received, a temporary restraining order to keep the ban from going into effect.

On Wednesday, the judge held a hearing to determine whether that restraining order should be extended.

Dr. Lisa Harris testified that all the uncertainty about whether abortion will remain legal in the state is pushing some patients to get abortions sooner. Harris is an o-b-g-y-n at the University of Michigan.

"Even though ideally, they want more time, they need more time," Harris said. "They want to consult another doctor, to get a second opinion, talk to clergy, whoever's important to them. People are making decisions because they are afraid the decision will be made for them."

Whitmer's legal team is arguing the state constitution protects the right to abortion.

However, defense attorney David Kallman says it's preventing county prosecutors from doing their jobs -- including prosecuting abortion providers.

"The prosecutors have a constitutional right and duty to bring charges against those who should be charged with criminal violations in Michigan," Kallman said. "They're being deprived of their constitutional rights as prosecutors."

The hearing will resume on Thursday morning.