A petition was submitted Monday to the Michigan Bureau of Elections that would initiate legislation to ban the second-trimester abortion procedure of “dilation and evacuation” in the state.
Right to Life of Michigan, organizers of the Michigan Values Life coalition, announced in a press release that it has collected 379,418 signatures for its citizen-initiated legislation, roughly 39,000 more signatures than is required by law.
“This is a wonderful Christmas present to the unborn. Michigan values life, and it’s time for an end to these violent late-term dismemberment abortions,” Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said. “Our committed all-volunteer force persevered through significant obstacles that kept being put in their path this year. We’ve received more than 400,000 signatures, but after thorough checking, we’ve whittled it down to our final total of valid signatures.”
Under the process, the Michigan Bureau of Elections will determine the validity of the signatures and then, once approved, send the legislation to the Michigan Legislature, which will have 40 days to consider the bill. If it isn’t passed into law, then it will be placed on the 2020 general election ballot for a public vote.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has promised to veto the legislation if it reaches her desk, but the state constitution doesn’t provide the governor with veto privileges in cases of citizen-initiated legislation. In other words, Whitmer won’t be able to stop the Republican-controlled Legislature from passing the bill into law.
“The 379,418 people who signed their names on this life-saving dismemberment ban should be confident that our pro-life majorities in the Michigan Legislature will pass the bill again, just like they did back in May,” Listing added.
According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, there were 1,908 dismemberment abortions reported in 2018.
The bill does provide an exception if the mother’s life is in danger. Michigan Right to Life has successfully initiated pro-life laws four times since its founding in 1987, but the ACLU of Michigan already said it’s prepared to sue if the bill becomes law, according to the Associated Press.
“We set a state record for the highest signature validity rate with our 2004 petition drive to ban partial-birth abortions. We hope our dismemberment ban meets or exceeds that validity rate of 97 percent,” said Listing.
In a statement released Monday, the ACLU of Michigan said if the “Michigan Legislature does vote for the method ban and it becomes law, then the ACLU of Michigan is prepared to challenge it in court, because it is unconstitutional.”
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