Michigan Supreme Court Says Voters Should Decide Abortion : NPR

Abortion rights supporters gather outside the Michigan Capitol in Lansing, Michigan during a rally on September 7, 2022.

Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images


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Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images


Abortion rights supporters gather outside the Michigan Capitol in Lansing, Michigan during a rally on September 7, 2022.

Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images

On Thursday, Michigan’s Supreme Court ruled that a proposed state constitutional amendment that would protect the right to abortion should go to the November ballot.

It is up to the Michigan Board of State Solicitors on Friday to decide in a final vote whether the measure should go to voters. Last week, the issue was sent to the state Supreme Court after Republican canvassers argued that the spacing and formatting of the amendment would be confusing to voters. They became deadlocked over the decision, and the group behind the amendment, Reproductive Freedom for All, appealed the decision to the state’s highest court.

Chief Justice Bridget Mary McCormack called the efforts of board members to keep the issue of abortion rights off the ballots “a trap game gone horribly wrong.”

“What a sad marker of the times.”

The judges found that more than enough signatures had been collected (approximately 750,000 signatures, well above the required 425,000 signatures) and that other matters were not for the council to decide.

“We are now more energetic and motivated than ever to restore the protections that were lost under Roe,” Darci McConnell, communications director for Reproductive Freedom for All, said in a statement after the court ruling.

“It is now up to voters to reject this extreme and misguided proposition on Election Day,” MI Women and Children spokeswoman Christen Pollo said in a statement. “We are confident that a majority will say no to Proposal 3.”

It’s been a controversial week for abortion in Michigan, one of the only states in the region where abortion remains legal. On Wednesday, a judge ordered a ban on the application of a 1931 law that criminalizes the procedure.

If the amendment goes ahead, Michigan will join other states such as California and Vermont where voters will see similar constitutional amendments on abortion rights on their ballots in November.

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