A coalition of pro-abortion advocates are aiming to compile enough signatures from Michigan voters to change the state’s constitution to affirm abortion rights, USA Today affiliate the Detriot Free Press reported Friday.
The coalition includes the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Michigan, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan, and a nonprofit organization called Michigan Voices. The group has launched a bid to put a constitutional amendment before voters that would guarantee the right to abortion in the state.
Nicole Stallworth, executive director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan, told the Detroit Free Press that the “vast majority of Michiganders want abortion to remain safe, legal, and accessible.”
The report noted that Michigan is one of 26 states with a law in place that makes it illegal to perform an abortion or assist someone seeking an abortion unless it is medically necessary to save the mother’s life. The law was nullified by Roe v. Wade, but was not repealed.
“We are exploring a ballot measure that would preserve every individual’s constitutional right to make the very personal decision about reproductive health care, including abortion, and keep those deicions between the individual and their medical professional,” Stallworth added. “We all have the right to determine our own futures.”
On Dec. 1, the Supreme Court of the United States heard oral arguments for the case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. Dobbs, which pertains to a 15-week abortion ban in Mississippi, is the first case in decades that could overturn landmark abortion cases Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. A decision is expected next summer.
“If the high court rescinds or changes Roe, the law would likely take effect again,” the Detroit Free Press reported. “The constitutional amendment would still allow the state to regulate abortions ‘after fetal viability’ but ban the state from preventing any abortion deemed medcially necessary by a health care professional.”
Genevieve Marron, the legislative director for Right to Life of Michigan, told the Detroit Free Press that “more Michiganders than ever oppose abortion” and that “voters will reject such a change to the constitution.”
"Right to Life has been actively working to defend the innocent unborn for 50 years and will continue to do so until all unborn children are afforded legal protection," Marnon said.
Pro-abortion advocates would need to collect over 400,000 signatures and have them verified by the state before their constitutional amendment petition goes on the November ballot. The deadline is July 11, 120 days before the election,