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Tipsheet

Michigan Residents Poised to Vote on Abortion Rights in November

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

The issue of abortion is poised to go before Michigan voters this election cycle after a pro-abortion rights campaign submitted a record-breaking number of signatures for a ballot initiative ensuring abortion rights in the state constitution.

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The Detroit Free Press reported Tuesday that if the state’s elections panel certifies the Reproductive Freedom for All amendment to appear on the ballot, voters will decide on the future of abortion access now that the Supreme Court overturn landmark abortion case Roe v. Wade

Michigan, as I covered, is one of several states with a pre-Roe law on the books outlawing abortion. Earlier this year, the state’s pro-abortion attorney general Dana Nessel said several times that she would not enforce the “draconian” 1931 in the event of a Roe overturn. She told reporters she had an abortion in 2002 when she became pregnant with triplets and was told she “would miscarry all three unless [she] terminated one.”

Monday marked the deadline for groups seeking to replace constitutional amendments on the ballot to submit their petitions. In Michigan, such measures require at least 425,059 signatures. Reportedly, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan said that 753,759 signatures were collected. Organizations involved in the effort also included Reproductive Freedom for All, the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan and the nonprofit Michigan Voices. 

The Detroit Free Press noted that the abortion amendment allows for some regulation surrounding abortion.

The Reproductive Freedom for All amendment proposes a new and general right to reproductive freedom in Michigan, including the right to access abortions and birth control without political interference.

The language of the proposed amendment leaves the door open to regulate abortions "after fetal viability." The amendment defines that as the point when a fetus could likely survive outside the uterus "without the application of extraordinary medical measures" as determined by a healthcare professional. The proposed amendment, however, would bar any prohibition of abortions deemed medically necessary "to protect the life or physical or mental health of the pregnant individual."

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Now, the signatures must be verified by the Bureau of Elections and validated by the Board of State Canvassers before the abortion amendment can appear on the Nov. 8 ballot.

After Roe fell, several states had trigger laws go into effect restricting abortion and protecting unborn lives. According to figures from the National Right to Life Committee, 63 million babies have been aborted since Roe became law of the land in 1973.

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