Reproductive Freedom for All Celebrates Volunteers and Michigan Voters Who are Fighting to Keep Abortion Legal in Michigan
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LANSING, Mich. – Today Reproductive Freedom for All (RFFA), together with its coalition partners, volunteers, and supporters in the medical community, turned in an historic 753,759 signatures from every county in the state to the Michigan Secretary of State to qualify for the Nov. 8, 2022 ballot and preserve abortion access and reproductive freedom in Michigan. Unprecedented momentum and volunteer efforts statewide propelled the Reproductive Freedom for All campaign to historic support – with more than 2,000 RFFA volunteers who helped gather signatures resulting in the campaign turning in more signatures than any previous ballot initiative in state history. In order to qualify, 425,059 valid signatures of registered Michigan voters are required.
After its January launch, more than 62,000 people from every single corner of the state signed up to take action and support the RFFA coalition to help qualify the initiative for the November ballot. This includes the more than 30,000 people who got involved and supported RFFA following the leaked draft U.S. Supreme Court opinion in May, foreshadowing the overturn of Roe v. Wade. The RFFA coalition’s diverse statewide volunteer network continues to call on all Michiganders to join the fight to keep abortion legal in Michigan, and includes 2,000 volunteers who circulated petitions and gathered signatures of registered Michigan voters.
This citizen-initiated constitutional amendment ballot measure is the first of its kind nationwide and would enshrine abortion access – and the right to make all decisions regarding reproductive health, including birth control, miscarriage care, prenatal care, and childbirth – in the Michigan Constitution. This ballot measure is a blueprint for other states to preserve or restore reproductive freedom in their state post-Roe, and allow their residents to make and carry out decisions in all matters related to pregnancy without political interference.
Reproductive Freedom for All is calling on all Michiganders to join the fight to keep abortion legal in Michigan. RFFA needs volunteers to help continue to educate and turn out voters and grassroots donors to power the campaign. Sign up to volunteer and donate to Reproductive Freedom for All at mireproductivefreedom.org.
ACLU of Michigan Executive Director Loren Khogali released this statement:
“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. The Supreme Court’s overturn of Roe v. Wade will not take away the rights and freedoms of people in Michigan to determine if and when they become a parent. We will not allow forced pregnancy in our state, nor will we stand by as the devastating impacts of a post-Roe world disproportionately impact people of color, LGBTQ+ communities, young people, low-income people, and those living in rural areas. This is your body, your ballot, your choice.”
Michigan Voices Executive Director Sommer Foster released this statement:
“A week after the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade, I sat in a coffee shop in Canton to collect signatures for three hours and watched as a few hundred people came in to sign the Reproductive for All Petition. I heard their stories of why this measure is important to them. An 18-year-old came in and registered to vote online just so that he could sign the petition. Michiganders want to be able to make their own decisions regarding their healthcare and they do not want politicians or judges standing in their way. The volunteers from all over our state that helped circulate petitions are inspiring and they are going to help us win this campaign in November. The people who signed our petition realize that this is an all-hands-on-deck moment and will do what it takes to protect reproductive freedom in Michigan."
Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan Executive Director Nicole Wells Stallworth released this statement:
“The Reproductive Freedom for All campaign’s record-breaking signature submission reflects the urgency and grassroots energy powering this movement. 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. Every day in every way, we’ll stop at nothing to make sure people have access to the essential health care they deserve to control their bodies and build their futures.”
Northland Family Planning Executive Director and RFFA Volunteer Renee Chelian released this statement:
“I have been an abortion provider for 49 and a half years. Our patients, most of whom have never been politically active, began signing the Reproductive Freedom for All petition early this year to protect abortion access and reproductive rights for themselves and for other people they love. I am still grieving the overturn of Roe v. Wade and know it will have major health repercussions, unintended consequences, and much more for pregnant people and their children. I do not want to go back to an abortion like mine - illegal and dangerous - or for people to have to travel to another state, both of which I have experienced. Today, we are taking a major step forward to restore the freedoms and protections of Roe v. Wade, and place the right to make a private decision about pregnancy, and about when to bring new life into the world, back into the hands of pregnant people, not politicians.”
Retired OB/GYN and RFFA Volunteer Dr. Michael Hertz released this statement:
“As an OB/GYN for 42 years, I know how important it is for doctors to be able to use the full range of treatment options when serious medical complications come up in pregnancy, and that includes abortion. I was excited to help collect signatures for this proposal, because it will protect access to life-saving health care, and ensure that decisions around abortion, like any health care, are made between doctors and women — not politicians.”
YWCA Kalamazoo Director of Public Policy and RFFA Volunteer Daniel Hamilton released this statement:
“The sheer number of signatures that our staff, our volunteers, and our supporters gathered demonstrates that people of color, LGBTQIA+ people, and young people are tired of watching as our dignity and our ability to control of our bodies are subject to the whims of anti-abortion politicians and courts. As we turn in the signatures today, we are boldly affirming that each of us should be able to live, work, and make decisions about our health and our future with dignity and respect – and Michiganders overwhelmingly agree. We will protect abortion access in this state, come hell or high water.”
Michigan United Transformational Justice & Faith & Justice Director and RFFA Volunteer Elder Leslie Matthews released this statement:
“When our bodies are under attack, we stand up and fight back. On the day my doctor delivered the crushing news that I had to terminate my pregnancy because it was not viable, I could not have imagined going through that process without a trained medical professional to guide me on what was best for me mentally and physically. With the overwhelming support of signature gathering for this ballot initiative, the voters of Michigan have spoken loud and clear: hands off our mothers, daughters, aunts, nieces, grandmothers’ bodies.”
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.