We know that the abortion ban passed by the legislature — and the other bad ones just like it — will meet a veto pen when it comes across Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s desk. We worked hard to elect Gov. Whitmer in 2018 because she has been a champion of comprehensive reproductive rights, including abortion, and we know she will continue to stand with Planned Parenthood. But anti-abortion groups are planning to exploit Michigan’s ballot initiative process to enact abortion bans into law without the Governor’s signature – and without the issue appearing on your ballot.
Here’s how they’re planning to do it. They are working to gather the required number of signatures for a ballot proposal (340,000 this election cycle). If they gather the required signatures, anti-choice lawmakers in the state legislature can choose to take up that ballot language and vote on it as if it were a regular piece of legislation. If a simple majority of legislators vote to approve it, the legislation is enacted into law and is not subject to the Governor’s veto. That is especially dangerous in situations like this where the main supporters of an issue are the people in the legislature, and not the people of Michigan.
If the legislature decides not to interfere or votes on the ballot language but fails to pass it, the proposal will go to the ballot for a statewide vote.
We will fight every step of the way to stop lawmakers from taking away our rights, and we will make sure you know what is happening along the way. In the coming weeks, you will see a lot of news around these bans. The best way to stay updated is to make sure you are following Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan, our advocacy arm, on Facebook and Twitter.
There are currently two separate initiatives utilizing this process.
The Michigan Heartbeat Coalition Petition seeks to ban abortion after six weeks gestation.
The Michigan Values Life Petition would ban the dilation & extraction procedure, the safest and most common procedure at that point in a pregnancy.
What happens next?
Language for both petitions has been approved by the state Board of Canvassers. Signature collection is now underway.
Signatures must be collected within a 180 day window. After the signatures are validated by the Board of Canvassers, the initiatives are presented to the Legislature, which then has 40 days to act.
If, for either initiative, a majority vote fails or the Legislature does not vote at all, the measures would appear on the ballot in the 2020 General Election.
How to take action:
Share this update with your friends, family and community so that they are aware of this attack on abortion access and can take action with you.
Send an email to Governor Whitmer thanking her for standing against these bans. If you live in the district of an anti-choice lawmaker, send them an email telling them to stop the attacks on health care access: bit.ly/notmydoc
Host a house party to educate your community on what’s happening and make a plan to take action. Contact Emily.Clancy@ppmi.org to get started planning your party.
Join a Legislative Action Team to hold your elected officials accountable and work with Planned Parenthood community organizers to take direct action to stop these abortion bans – and any other attack on reproductive rights. Sign up: bit.ly/PPAMLAT
Your story is powerful. Use our storytelling platform to share your story about why access to safe, legal abortion is so important and why you are fighting to protect it. Share your story: bit.ly/stopthebansstory
Paid for with regulated funds by Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan, P.O. Box 15041, Lansing, MI 48901.