Pro-Choice Supporters Push to Put Reproductive Rights on November Ballot
The overturning of Roe v. Wade is only the beginning of the fight for abortion rights in Michigan.
Right now, due to a court injunction, abortion is still legal in the state. But at any time the courts can rule to uphold or deny multiple lawsuits trying to keep it legal. Then the legislature can write laws as they see fit.
While Michigan waits to see how the State Supreme Court rules on lawsuits fighting for legal abortion, a massive signature collecting campaign is underway to put a proposal on the November ballot to protect reproductive rights.
“Decisions regarding childbirth, regarding prenatal care, regarding abortion, contraception, sterilization, fertility treatment, miscarriage management,” said Michael Hertz, an obstetrician-gynecologist and the organizer for the campaign’s Northwest Michigan region.
To make the ballot, the Reproductive Freedom for All campaign needs 425,059 valid signatures turned in by July 11th.
A court can reverse rulings depending on make up. The party in power of the legislature can write new laws as they see fit. A ballot proposal locks it into the Constitution.
“It’s up to the voters to codify this right into law themselves,” said Attorney General Dana Nessel, “Not to count on a court to do it for you.”
Friday’s decision by the Supreme Court of the United States has inspired people to act.
“We’ve gone from having only 10 folks show up here at Bryant Park to sign last Saturday, to well over a couple hundred already,” said Hertz, “There’s no question that people are energized by the overturning of Roe v. Wade.”
Nothing is permanent because amendments can be repealed but the voters again would have to decide.
“They would have to go through the same kind of procedure that we’re doing here to amend the Constitution,” said Hertz.
Right to Life Michigan has said it will do just that.
“It’s going to be a fight on both sides. If this ballot proposal goes through in November and people vote for it,” said Anna Marie Visser of Right to Life Michigan, “We’re going to keep fighting to have another constitutional amendment pass through to say we want human rights for all humans in Michigan.”