The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 14, 1988 - Page 5
Courts delay decision
on abortion injunction
LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A
Flint man determined to prevent his
estranged wife's abortion and the
young mother forced by injunction to
continue an unwanted pregnancy
waited yesterday for action by two
different courts, but neither issued a
Carlton Lewis and the court-
appointed guardian for his unborn
child have asked the Michigan
Supreme Court to take the case.
His estranged wife, Shawn Lewis,
has asked the Michigan Court of
Appeals to quickly hear the case. Her
request was on the court's calender
yesterday, but no decision was is-
She is trying to have a higher
court lift the injunction imposed last
week by Genesee County Circuit
Court Judge Valdemar Washington.
It forbids her from having an abor-
She is in the first three months of
pregnancy, and if she violates the in-
junction risks 45 days in jail, a $100
fine, and possible loss of custody of
her 16-month-old child, attorneys
Washington said he issued the in-
junction because the case "falls
squarely within the jurisdiction of
"In this court's view, this is not a
case of a mother's right to terminate
pregnancy versus a father's rights,"
he said. "Once that (divorce filing)
occurred, an additional responsibility
was placed on the court to look into
the interests of any minor children
that the parties may have."
He said no Michigan court has
ruled on when a fetus becomes a
child, so he had to consider the case a
custody fight, just as if the child al-
ready had been born.
A brief filed by the father's attor-
neys argues that quick action by the
state's highest court is necessary be-
cause of the chance the intermediate
court could lift the Genesee judge's
injunction or the chance that Shawn
Lewis could violate the injunction.
"In either case the rights and
interests of the unborn child would
be irrevocably lost," the brief said.
The brief also argues that a speedy
resolution of the issue "is essential
for the protection of the father's con-
stitutional rights and interests.
"Due to the weightiness of the is-
sues and th short term of pregnancy
it is necessary for the Supreme Court
to accept jurisdiction immediately,"
the lawyers wrote.
Lawyers for the mother said the
Supreme Court filing probably was a
delaying tactic to stall action in the
Court of Appeals.
Spokesperson Thomas Farrell said
the Supreme Court justices likely
would discuss the application by
conference call this week. He said it
is impossible to estimate how long
it would them to rule.
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