Advocates have a July 11 deadline to get an abortion rights measure on the Michigan ballot

Advocates have a July 11 deadline to get an abortion rights measure on the Michigan ballot

A key abortion rights battle is going on in Michigan, where a court has blocked a 1931 abortion ban from going into effect and Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has said, “we’re pulling out all the stops” to preserve legal abortion despite a Republican-controlled state legislature. There’s an urgent deadline coming up in another part of this fight, though.

Organizers of a ballot initiative are racing to collect signatures to get a vote on an amendment to the state constitution guaranteeing reproductive rights. They need at least 425,059 signatures from Michigan voters turned in by July 11. With tens of thousands of volunteers, the organizers expect to get the signatures they need—but the more the better. The importance of signatures has been amply shown by Michigan Republicans after five gubernatorial candidates were disqualified due to fraudulent signatures.

If you’re in Michigan and you haven’t signed a petition to get abortion rights on the ballot, click here to find an event where you can sign.

RELATED STORY: Abortion rights advocates are geared up to grind out court battles state by state

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”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.”

The courts and Whitmer are, so far, a line of defense for abortion rights in Michigan. But, as Loren Khogali, executive director of the ACLU of Michigan, noted on Friday, “Amending the state constitution would provide the most enduring protection to abortion and to reproductive freedom.” Voters have a chance to make that happen. Getting the signatures to ensure it’s on the ballot is the first step.

If you’re in Michigan and you haven’t signed a petition to get abortion rights on the ballot, click here to find an event where you can sign.

RELATED STORIES:

Alleged signature fraud roils Republican primary for Michigan governor

‘We’re pulling out all the stops’ is something voters need to hear from more Democrats right now

Swing-state Democrats go on offense on abortion rights as Senate Republicans dive for the bunkers

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