Friday, December 2, 2022

Michigan abortion rights ballot initiative gathered a record-breaking 750k signatures

July 11, 2022
<p>A representative with Planned Parenthood of Michigan gathers petitions for a ballot initiative enshrining abortion rights in Michigan&#x27;s constitution. Supporters of abortion rights gathered at the Capitol on June 24, 2022, after the overturning of Roe v. Wade.</p>

A representative with Planned Parenthood of Michigan gathers petitions for a ballot initiative enshrining abortion rights in Michigan's constitution. Supporters of abortion rights gathered at the Capitol on June 24, 2022, after the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

Photo by Sheldon Krause | The State News

In January, the Reproductive Freedom for All, or RFFA, launched a petition for a ballot initiative that aims to add abortion rights and protections to the Michigan constitution.

On Monday, the RFFA turned in 753,759 signatures to the Michigan Secretary of State – far surpassing the 425,059 valid signatures that were needed in order to qualify for the Nov. 8, 2022, ballot. The RFFA collected the most signatures in Michigan's history for a ballot initiative.

According to the ACLU of Michigan, the ballot measure would enshrine "the right to make all decisions regarding reproductive health" into Michigan's constitution. This includes birth control, miscarriage care, prenatal care, childbirth and abortion access.

If the signatures collected by the RFFA are confirmed as valid, the proposal will appear on the ballot in the November election. If 51% of voters vote "yes," the state's constitution will be amended, losing its 1931 abortion ban, which is currently suspended due to a preliminary injunction.

ACLU of Michigan Executive Director Loren Khogali wrote in a statement that the vast majority of Michigan residents know abortion is healthcare and stand "on the right side of history."

"This is your body, your ballot, your choice," Khogali said. "We will not allow forced pregnancy in our state, nor will we stand by as the devastating impacts of a post-Roe world disproportionately impact people of color, LGBTQ+ communities, young people, low-income people, and those living in rural areas."

Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan Executive Director Nicole Wells Stallworth also said in a statement that the clear majority of Michigan residents want to keep abortion legal.

"The Reproductive Freedom for All campaign’s record-breaking signature submission reflects the urgency and grassroots energy powering this movement," Stallworth said. "Supporters from every corner of this state, from every walk of life, are signing up to volunteer, donate and share their stories to ensure politicians can’t interfere in our most personal medical decisions."

The petition had signatures from every county in Michigan. More than 30,000 people got involved with the RFFA after the U.S. Supreme Court opinion draft was leaked in May. About 2,000 volunteers worked to circulate petitions and collect signatures from Michigan voters.

The ACLU said that the "fight continues at the ballot box in November."

The ACLU of Michigan was not available for comment at the time of publication.

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