A Michigan pro-life ballot initiative to ban second trimester, dismemberment abortions failed to receive approval by the state. It’s the second pro-life ballot measure that’s been initially rejected due to lack of valid signatures in the leadup to the 2020 election.
In 2019, Michigan Right to Life (MRL) announced that it would introduce a pro-life ballot initiative to end second trimester D&E abortions in the state, which is a procedure that requires the abortionist to dismember preborn babies in the womb. According to Michigan Radio, the MRL had 180 days to collect 340,047 signatures.
The Michigan State Health Department reported that there were approximately 2,076 D&E abortions in 2019, which accounts for 7.6% of the state’s abortions.
Getting this initiative on the 2020 ballot would give citizens the opportunity to protect life, but Planned Parenthood and pro-abortion activists don’t want that to happen.
Though the MRL got 380,000 signatures, 40,000 more than was needed, the Coalition to Protect Access to Care, a group affiliated with Planned Parenthood, argued that the collection effort fell short by 7,276. The Michigan elections bureau agreed.
In a statement, MRL wrote, “To check the petition signatures, the Bureau of Elections (BOE) pulls a sample of 500 signatures, rather than checking all submitted signatures. If enough signatures in the sample are valid, the BOE will recommend the signatures be certified by the State Board of Canvassers. If not enough are found, another sample must be pulled to check. If far too few appear to be valid, the BOE will recommend against certification.”
“Planned Parenthood has found that 435 of the 500 signatures are valid (87%) and is challenging the validity of 65 signatures.”
When challenged by MRL, the elections bureau later decided to reinstate only two signatures, which was still short of the 465-threshold needed.
MRL President Barbara Listing stated that the organizers were “extremely disappointed.”
Angela Vasquez-Giroux, spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan, had a different perspective.
“The Bureau of Elections found the same severe deficiencies in the Right to Life petitions as our staff and volunteers did, and we hope the Board of Canvassers follows their recommendation and declines to certify,” Vasquez-Giroux said.
It seems a bit unfair, doesn’t it, that Planned Parenthood, in part, determined the validity of the signatures for this ballo They’re hardly an unbiased observer.
Unsurprisingly, another pro-life ballot initiative in Colorado, which is asking voters to support a 22-week abortion ban, also initially failed with a downfall of about 9,985 signatures. Thankfully the team, known as Due Date Too Late, has been able to acquire the necessary signatures to get it on the state ballot this year.
It’s unclear if Michigan will be able to do the same.
If the ballot initiative had been a pro-abortion measure, would it have met the same level of resistance? Likely not. That two pro-life initiatives were declared insufficient, despite exceeding the number of necessary signatures by tens of thousands, seems statistically unlikely.