Support Local Journalism. Donate to Detroit Metro Times.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Planned Parenthood considers a pro-choice ballot initiative in Michigan to combat 'undemocratic' anti-abortion measures

Posted By on Wed, Aug 14, 2019 at 12:05 PM

  • Rena Schild / Shutterstock

Planned Parenthood is gearing up for an abortions rights battle in Michigan.

The organization is reportedly considering a pro-choice ballot initiative for the November 2020 ballot. Though only reportedly in its earliest exploratory stages, the organization is looking at ways to combat two anti-abortion proposals that are on the way to gaining the 340,047 signatures needed by mid-December to proceed to Michigan's Republican-controlled Legislature, where they are expected to pass. The potential initiative also comes in anticipation of a possible U.S. Supreme Court reversal of Roe v. Wade.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has vowed to veto any anti-abortion bills that come to her desk, but a citizens' initiative could circumvent her signature. And even though the anti-abortion groups are collecting signatures to put them on the November 2020 ballot, they don't actually need to get that far for them to pass. Michigan’s Constitution allows the Legislature to enact a ballot initiative first, without Whitmer's signature or without a citizens' vote — a sidestep that critics call "undemocratic" in spirit.

"We think it's really clear that there's no intent to put these on the ballot,” Lori Carpentier, executive director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan, told The Detroit News. "And yet, that's what they're gathering signatures to do." ("That's not deceitful; that's specifically written in the Constitution," Genevieve Marnon of anti-abortion group Right to Life told the paper. "I didn't write those rules. Right to Life didn’t write those rules. And those rules apply to everyone equally.")

One of the anti-abortion measures seeks to ban dilation and evacuation, a procedure most commonly used in the second trimester. The other would ban abortions after embryonic cardiac activity is detected.

Michigan's anti-abortion efforts appear to be part of a coordinated, nationwide effort to bring the abortion issue to the Supreme Court — which moved to the right after the confirmation of Justice Brett "I like beer" Kavanaugh — to eventually overturn Roe v. Wade.

"A movement, I feel like, is even too small of a word," Alexis McGill Johnson, who became Planned Parenthood's new leader in July, told The Detroit News. "There is just an active extremist effort designed to take away and restrict women's access to reproductive health care and health care in a general way."

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

Tags: , , , ,

We’re keeping you informed…
...and it’s what we love to do. From local politics and culture to national news that hits close to home, Metro Times has been keeping Detroit informed for years.

It’s never been more important to support local news sources. A free press means accountability and a well-informed public, and we want to keep our unique and independent reporting available for many, many years to come.

If quality journalism is important to you, please consider a donation to Metro Times. Every reader contribution is valuable and so appreciated, and goes directly to support our coverage of critical issues and neighborhood culture. Thank you.

Read the Digital Print Issue

April 8, 2020


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2020 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation