Michigan advocates submit signatures for abortion rights ballot measure

Elder Leslie Mathews, an organizer with Michigan United joins Leaders of the Reproductive Freedom for All campaign as they speak to supporters on Monday, July 11, 2022, in Lansing Mich., after turning in 753,759 signatures to qualify for Michigan’s November ballot. (AP Photo/Joey Cappelletti)

Abortion rights advocates in Michigan are one step closer to securing a ballot measure that would let voters decide whether abortion remains legal.

A coalition of advocacy groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Michigan and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan, said it secured nearly 754,000 signatures to put an abortion rights constitutional amendment on the ballot in November.

Michigan requires a little more than 425,000 voter signatures for an issue to qualify for the ballot.

The groups said the reproductive freedom ballot measure is the first of its kind nationwide and a blueprint for other states to preserve or restore reproductive freedom post-Roe. 

The amendment would define the right to make and carry out decisions about all matters relating to pregnancy, including birth control, abortion, prenatal care and childbirth, in the Michigan Constitution.

“A clear majority of Michiganders want to keep abortion legal. 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. That momentum will power us toward victory in November,” Nicole Wells Stallworth, executive director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan, said in a statement. 

The coalition first launched in January after oral arguments at the Supreme Court and saw a massive surge of interest and volunteers after a draft of the opinion overturning Roe v. Wade was leaked. More than 30,000 people got involved following the leaked draft, the groups said. 

“The vast majority of Michiganders know that abortion is healthcare: Michigan is on the right side of history as we lead the way with Reproductive Freedom for All and intend to ask Michigan voters on November 8 to protect abortion and reproductive rights in Michigan,” ACLU of Michigan Executive Director Loren Khogali said in a statement.

Tags abortion Abortion Ballot measures Michigan Roe v. Wade Roe v. Wade

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