Michigan Supreme Court Rules Abortion Issue Will Be on November Ballot

Mimi Nguyen Ly
By Mimi Nguyen Ly
September 9, 2022Roe v. Wade
Michigan Supreme Court Rules Abortion Issue Will Be on November Ballot
Pro-abortion protester Michigan resident Daniel Smith, his wife, and his two daughters at the Bans Off Our Bodies march in Washington on May 14, 2022. (Jackson Elliott/The Epoch Times)

The Michigan Supreme Court ruled on Sept. 8 that voters can decide in the November general election ballot whether abortion should be legal in the state.

The seven justices on the state’s high court voted 5–2 to have a proposed state constitutional amendment regarding abortion on the ballot on the November ballot. It will be up to the Michigan Board of State Canvassers to decide in a final vote on Sept. 9 on whether to place the measure before voters.

The state Supreme Court ruling comes after the Michigan Board of State Canvassers on Aug. 31 deadlocked 2–2 on whether to put the amendment on the ballot: two Republicans had voted against, while two Democrats voted in support.

The proposed amendment was put forth by Reproductive Freedom for All, a group that believes abortion is a right. The group presented more than 730,000 petition signatures in support of the proposal. The figure surpassed the 425,000 signatures required. Following the deadlock on Aug. 31, Reproductive Freedom for All appealed the vote to the Michigan Supreme Court.

In mid-August, a group called Citizens to Support MI Women and Children had asked officials on the state’s canvassing board to reject the proposal, citing 43 “serious errors” in the proposed amendment that was included in the petition circulated for signatures. According to The Detroit News, most of the errors cited were a lack of spaces between words in the main language of the petition that the group said resulted “in a string of gibberish” that would confuse voters.

The group also said that the version of the proposed amendment circulated to voters was different from what the Michigan Board of State Canvassers approved earlier this year.

As of Sept. 8, abortion is legal in Michigan.

1931 Law

The state had a law enacted in 1931 (MCL 750.14) that bans abortions in the state except to save the life of the mother; the measure has no exception for rape and incest. It was enforced up until 1973, when the U.S. Supreme Court issued its Roe v. Wade ruling that overturned state laws and made abortions up until 24 weeks legal throughout the country.

The U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe on June 24, which meant that the Michigan abortion law became enforceable again. But the law faced legal challenges, and a judge in late August issued a preliminary injunction that prevented its enforcement. Another judge struck down the law late on Sept. 7, saying that the measure violated the state’s constitution and could not be enforced.

If the amendment is approved by the Michigan Board of State Canvassers, the state will join other states such as California and Vermont in asking voters in November whether to amend their state constitution to protect abortion access.

Kentucky also has a statewide referendum on abortion in November. Voters will decide whether to back a measure that says nothing in the state’s constitution creates a right to abortion.

Separately, voters in Kansas on Aug. 2 rejected a proposal to amend the state’s constitution to say that nothing in the state constitution creates a right to abortion or requires government funding for abortion and that the state legislature has the authority to pass laws regarding abortion.

From The Epoch Times

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