Michigan voters will have the chance to enshrine abortion rights in the state constitution in a November vote after activists turned in 753,759 signatures to get a ballot vote. That’s not just well over the 425,059 required to get onto the ballot, it’s a record in the state. The Bureau of Elections and Board of State Canvassers need to sign off on the signatures, but it’s hard to imagine a scenario in which more than 300,000 signatures are disqualified.
The organizers aren’t leaving anything to chance, though. “We’ve been putting every single signature through a rigorous verification process,” Jessica Ayoub, the field director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, told Politico. “This has been an incredible showing of direct democracy at work.”
”This proposal will affirm that every person has the fundamental right to reproductive freedom, which involves the right to make and carry out decisions without political interference about all matters relating to pregnancy, including birth control, abortion, prenatal care, and childbirth,” the coalition promoting the amendment explains. Reproductive Freedom for All, ACLU of Michigan, Michigan Voices, and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan are organizing the effort.
“Specifically, this measure will ensure that all Michiganders have the right to safe and respectful care during birthing, everyone has the right to use temporary or permanent birth control, everyone has the right to continue or end a pregnancy pre-viability, and no one can be punished for having a miscarriage, stillbirth, or abortion.”
While the effort to get on the ballot began before the leak showing that the Supreme Court was poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, that news lit a fire. “We got 30,000 new volunteers after the leak,” Ayoub said. “But in the week-plus since the decision, that’s doubled to over 60,000. We have never seen anything like this before. And as signature collection winds down they’re already itching to talk to voters and get this passed.”
Volunteers and voters are fired up. This showing of strength should suggest to Democratic leaders that people are ready to be mobilized—if they have a specific goal to work toward.
Republished with permission from Daily Kos.