Organizers of a campaign seeking to enshrine the right to an abortion in the Michigan Constitution submitted more than 750,000 signatures to put the ballot proposal before voters in November.
Campaign organizers say the 753,759 signatures is a record. In order to qualify, 425,059 valid signatures of registered Michigan voters are required to get on the ballot. The campaign picked up momentum after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last month, eliminating the constitutional right to an abortion and allowing states to ban abortions. The Bureau of Elections still has to verify the signatures, which then have to be validated by the Board of State Canvassers before the citizen-led initiative can appear on the Nov. 8 ballot.
Northland Family Planning Executive Director and RFFA Volunteer Renee Chelian has been an abortion provider for nearly 50 years. The reversal of Roe v. Wade “will have major health repercussions, unintended consequences, and much more for pregnant people and their children,” Chelian said in a statement. “I do not want to go back to an abortion like mine — illegal and dangerous — or for people to have to travel to another state, both of which I have experienced. Today, we are taking a major step forward to restore the freedoms and protections of Roe v. Wade, and place the right to make a private decision about pregnancy, and about when to bring new life into the world, back into the hands of pregnant people, not politicians.”
If the abortion ballot proposal is passed, the constitutional amendment would guarantee the right to an abortion in the state. In Michigan, a 1931 law makes it a crime to assist in an abortion, but it has been dormant since Roe v. Wade. In May, Court of Claims Judge Elizabeth Gleicher granted a preliminary injunction sought by Planned Parenthood of Michigan, saying the abortion ban likely violates the Michigan Constitution. GOP lawmakers have asked an appeals court to let the ban take effect.
Photo credit: Reproductive Freedom for All