An appeals court ruled Monday that local prosecutors can take action against people who perform abortions even if the law is blocked.

Abortion protest Michigan

Protesters march through Detroit on May 7.

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In May, a Michigan judge ruled that the 1931 abortion ban couldn't be enforced again if the Supreme Court legalized abortion.

The Michigan Court of Appeals dismissed the case of the two county prosecutors because they weren't covered by the May decision.

In May, the appeals panel ruled that county prosecutors are not state officials, and thus the decision does not apply to county prosecutors.

The 1931 law outlaws all abortions except when the mother's life is in danger and makes performing an abortion a felony manslaughter offense.

The state is still unable to enforce the law because of the appeals court ruling.

If the court said it could be enforced, Dana Nessel would not stop county prosecutors from doing so.

David Kallman, the attorney for Jackson County Prosecutor Jerard Jarzynka and Kent County Prosecutor Christopher Becker, told the Detroit News that the court's ruling was what they wanted. The lawyer said that if a case is brought to them and the elements are present, they will prosecute.

What does this mean for abortion access? In a statement Monday, the organization said it will continue to provide abortion services in the three weeks before the ruling takes effect, but it is not certain if abortions will continue once the ruling takes effect. According to Bridge Michigan, county prosecutors in seven out of 13 counties with abortion clinics have said they will not enforce the law, meaning abortion may be permissible in some areas but not others. According to Kallman, the law has a six-year statute of limitations, meaning that if a new prosecutor decides to enforce the ban, providers could be dissuaded from performing abortions.

What To Watch For

Republican state lawmakers have appealed the case in order to have the law take effect statewide. There is a chance that Michigan voters will be asked if they support a state constitutional amendment supporting abortion rights. The amendment would mean that abortion would not be illegal in the state.

Key Background

A wave of abortion bans have been enacted since the Supreme Court ruled in favor of abortion rights in 1973. In addition to the debate over Michigan's ban, abortions stopped in Wisconsin under its pre-Roe law even as state officials said they The Texas Supreme Court allowed the law to go back into effect even though it was blocked by the courts.

If the Supreme Court overturns the abortion ban, Michigan can't enforce it.

Women who have abortions will not be charged by the prosecutors.

Two generations of women run a women's clinic.

An attorney says that abortion providers may be charged.

Laws that aren't supposed to be in effect are cutting off access to abortions.