Measure would amend state constitution, affirm right to abortion
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LANSING, Mich. – Today Reproductive Freedom for All, in coalition with ACLU of Michigan, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan, and Michigan Voices, filed paperwork with the Board of State Canvassers to begin a ballot petition drive to protect reproductive freedom, including access to abortion, in Michigan.
This proposal would amend Michigan’s Constitution to explicitly affirm Michiganders’ fundamental right to reproductive freedom. This includes the right to make and carry out decisions without political interference in all matters relating to pregnancy, including abortion, birth control, prenatal care, and childbirth.
The coalition is taking this action in anticipation of the U.S. Supreme Court potentially overturning Roe v. Wade and eliminating the federal right to abortion.
Nearly 2.2 million Michiganders could lose abortion access if Roe is overturned, according to recently released research from Planned Parenthood Federation of America and In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda.
Michigan never repealed its 1931 law banning abortion after Roe v. Wade rendered it unenforceable. If the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe, the ban could take effect.
In addition to safeguarding abortion access, this measure will provide protections for using birth control, receiving safe and respectful care during birthing, and ensuring no one can be punished for having a miscarriage, stillbirth, or abortion.
Statement from Nicole Wells Stallworth, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan: “We have reached a critical moment in history for abortion access in Michigan with the Supreme Court poised to overturn nearly 50 years of precedent and restrict abortion access for 2.2 million Michiganders. The vast majority of Michiganders want abortion to remain safe, legal, and accessible. We are exploring a ballot measure that would preserve every individual’s constitutional right to make the very personal decision about reproductive health care, including abortion and keep those decisions between the individual and their medical professional. We all have the right to determine our own futures.”
Statement from Loren Khogali, Executive Director of ACLU of Michigan: “Michiganders deserve to make reproductive health decisions for themselves, period. Anyone who has had to make the decision about whether or not to have an abortion, no matter the reason, knows to their core that it is deeply personal and should be reserved for them in consultation with their doctor and their loved ones. Now is the moment for us to come together to protect this fundamental right for Michigan as we hold our collective breath for the Supreme Court’s ruling. It is an all-hands-on-deck moment, and we will pursue every option available to secure reproductive freedom for all Michiganders. Please join us to protect reproductive freedom for all.”
Statement from Sommer Foster, Executive Director of Michigan Voices: “For the last 12 months, Michigan Voices has convened a reproductive justice workgroup that has engaged over 35 grassroots partner organizations. Our partners are groups that are mostly led by and engage people of color, across the State of Michigan. We’ve worked to create a set of priorities for comprehensive reproductive care including the right to access an abortion, birth control and maternal and prenatal care. Given the reality of the U.S. Supreme Court and the 1931 ban criminalizing abortion, our partners believe that we need to do everything we can to make sure this fundamental right remains in the hands of those who need reproductive care and their doctors.”
The coalition’s next step is to seek the Board of State Canvassers’ review and approval of a proposal summary before beginning to collect signatures. A constitutional amendment requires 425,059 signatures; 10 percent of the total votes cast in the 2018 gubernatorial election.
Reproductive Freedom for All is organized and supported by a growing coalition of Michigan advocates from Detroit to the Upper Peninsula and throughout the state. The campaign is led by ACLU of Michigan, Michigan Voices, and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan.