Election dynamics shift with abortion rights on the ballot

WDET’s Russ McNamara fills in for Cheyna Roth and is joined by Lauren Gibbons of Bridge Michigan to break down how having abortion rights on the ballot will impact candidates seeking election this November.

Michigan abortion

In this Friday, June 24, 2022, file photo, abortion rights protesters cheer at a rally following the United States Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade outside the state capitol in Lansing. Photo Credit: Paul Sancya/AP


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In this episode:

  • Lauren Gibbons of Bridge Michigan joins MichMash
  • Abortion rights will be on the ballot this November
  • Board of State Canvassers changes course after Michigan Supreme Court decision

The Michigan Board of State Canvassers has voted unanimously to put the question of abortion rights on the ballot in November.

Just one week ago, the fate of the Reproductive Freedom for All ballot initiative was in limbo after the Board of Canvassers was deadlocked due to Republican members of the board citing kerning — or letter spacing — made the ballot too hard to read.

The Michigan Supreme Court disagreed with that claim on Thursday with a 5-2 ruling, effectively ordering the Board of State Canvassers to put the initiative on the November ballot. 

The Reproductive Freedom for All amendment proposes an explicit state constitutional right to abortions and would prevent any future enforcement of the 1931 state law criminalizing most abortions.

Since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade, the political landscape has been shifting, with the question of abortion rights looming for this year’s midterm elections.

Now that the the right to safe and legal abortions in Michigan could be enshrined in the state’s constitution, the dynamics of statewide races are shifting, and candidates’ positions on abortion rights will likely take center stage come November.

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Author

  • David Leins is a Podcast Coordinator and Producer at WDET. He also oversees the StoryMakers program. When he isn't making radio and podcasts, David is probably on a hike somewhere marveling at the trees.