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Reproductive rights coalition launches petition drive for abortion access ballot proposal

Rick Pluta
Michigan Public Radio

A proposed ballot measure would amend Michigan’s constitution to guarantee abortion access, as well as other reproductive rights, a coalition behind the measure announced Tuesday.

Organizers started gathering petition signatures for the measure this week. It’s backed by a coalition of reproductive and civil rights groups called Reproductive Freedom For All, including the ACLU of Michigan, Planned Parenthood of Michigan, and Michigan Voices.

ACLU of Michigan Executive Director Loren Khogali said organizers need to gather more than 425,000 valid signatures by July 11 to have the measure certified for the November ballot. This would be placed directly on the ballot, so this would be putting the question of reproductive rights to the people of Michigan,” she said.

Khogali said the matter is urgent because the U.S. Supreme Court stands ready to rule on a case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, that could sharply curtail or even eliminate the abortion rights afforded by Roe v. Wade. If that happens, Michigan has a 1931 law on the books banning all abortions except in cases where the mother’s life is at risk.

Khogali said the ballot proposal would “amend the Michigan Constitution to enshrine the right to reproductive freedoms, including abortion, as well as reproductive health care like birth control [and] miscarriage care.”

“One in four women in Michigan have had abortions, which means that everybody in Michigan likely knows someone and loves someone who has had an abortion. So this isn't an issue just for you or for me, or for one or two people. This is really something that impacts every single person across our state.”

The November 2022 ballot is likely to be a crowded one in Michigan. There are currentlyat least a dozenongoing major petition drives trying to get various proposals certified for the ballot.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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