Vote campaign kicks off to protect abortion rights in Michigan

LANSING, Michigan – An election campaign launched in Michigan on Friday would enshrine a woman’s abortion right in the state’s constitution, as the U.S. Supreme Court considers weakening or overturning its ruling history Roe v. Wade.

Reproductive Freedom for All’s petition would affirm the right to make pregnancy-related decisions without interference, including about abortion and other reproductive services such as birth control, supporters said. The groups leading the effort are Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan, the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, and Michigan Voices.

Michigan still has a 90-year abortion ban on its books if Roe is overturned, and Republican legislative leaders are opposing Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s call to repeal the law. Michigan is one of eight states with unenforced pre-Roe abortion bans.

Last month, the High Court heard arguments over whether to uphold Mississippi’s ban on abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy. Mississippi has asked the Tory Court to overturn Roe and a 1992 follow-up ruling that prevents states from banning abortion before viability, the point around 24 weeks of pregnancy when a fetus can survive outside of uterus. His decision is expected next summer.

Organizers of the polling initiative need around 425,000 valid voters’ signatures to present it to the electorate in November. Circulating petitions successfully can cost millions of dollars.

Nicole Wells Stallworth, executive director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan, said the vast majority of residents want abortion to remain safe, legal and accessible. The state is at a “critical moment in history for access to abortion,” she said.

“The time has come for us to come together to protect this fundamental Michigan right as we hold our collective breath for the Supreme Court ruling,” said Loren Khogali, executive director of the Michigan ACLU, affirming rulings “deeply personal” about the decision to abort should be left to women and their health professionals.

State Attorney General Democrat Dana Nessel and at least one local attorney have said they will not enforce the 1931 ban, a form of which has been in effect since 1846. But Whitmer and Nessel are candidates for re-election this year, when Republicans are expected to benefit from favorable political winds, as the party that controls the White House typically fares less well in the first midterm elections after assuming the presidency.

Anti-abortion groups will oppose the petition campaign.

“We cannot allow vulnerable people to be killed for the sake of convenience,” said Barbara Listing, president of Right to Life of Michigan.

Rebecca Mastee, policy advocate at the Michigan Catholic Conference, called the initiative “a sad commentary on the disproportionate and nefarious role the abortion industry plays in our politics and our society.” We look forward to supporting women in a potential statewide election campaign to promote a culture of life and good health for mothers and unborn children. “

In a June poll conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, 61% of Americans said abortion should be legal in most or all circumstances in the first trimester. But a larger majority said abortion should generally or always be illegal in the second and third trimesters.

Voters in at least one other state, Vermont, could also consider a constitutional amendment in November to enshrine “reproductive autonomy” if the Democrat-controlled state chamber sends it to the polls. The state already has a law guaranteeing the right to abortion.

In Kansas, voters will consider an anti-abortion amendment in August that says the state’s constitution provides no rights to abortion and that the legislature can regulate it as lawmakers see fit – meaning that if Roe is overthrown, Republicans could ban abortion altogether.


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