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Right to Life takes next step toward vote on new abortion restriction

a sign that says "stop abortion now" and another that says "keep abortion legal"
Unsplash/Adobe Stock

The anti-abortion group Right to Life of Michigan has wrapped up its petition drive and is getting ready to turn in its signatures.

The group wants the state to adopt a statute that would outlaw a particular abortion procedure. It’s known medically as “dilation and evacuation.”

Genevieve Marnon is with Right to Life. She says once the petition signatures are certified by a state elections board, the question goes to state lawmakers.

“And then it’s up to the Legislature to do one of three things. They can either vote on it and with a simple majority it becomes law, and is not subjected to a gubernatorial veto. They can ignore it for 40 days and it would go on the ballot, or they could vote it down and it would go on the ballot.”

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has said she would veto any bills to outlaw the procedure.

“So, knowing that we were not going to get her signature and create law that way, we did what Right to Life of Michigan has done four times in the past, and that is to go out in the field, gather signatures, and turn it into the Legislature,” Marnon said.

Marnon says the signatures will be submitted before the end of the month.

Similar bills have been adopted in the Legislature, but were never sent to Whitmer after she promised to veto them.

Bills presented to the Legislature via petition campaigns cannot be vetoed by the governor if they are adopted by lawmakers.

Abortion rights supporters say they would challenge such a law if it were adopted.

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Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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