For Immediate Release: Thursday, September 8, 2022
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NARAL Pro-Choice America Celebrates as Michigan “Reproductive Freedom For All” Ballot Initiative Certified to Appear on November Ballot
Lansing, Michigan — Today, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled in favor of the over 750,000 signatures collected to support the “Reproductive Freedom for All” ballot initiative, which would enshrine reproductive freedom in the state constitution. This is the largest number of signatures ever gathered in the state to support a ballot initiative. The ballot measure will now appear on the November ballot for voters to decide. Last week, the State Board of Canvassers reached a deadlock vote when attempting to certify the signatures, prompting the state’s highest court to weigh in.
NARAL Pro-Choice America President Mini Timmaraju released the following statement in response:
“By refusing to certify these signatures, it is clear that some members of the State Board of Canvassers were playing politics rather than adhering to the will of the people. We are grateful to the Michigan Supreme Court for making sure that the over 750,000 Michiganders who made their voice clear in this matter were heard. In Michigan and across the country, we are seeing a wave of Americans fighting back for their freedom to decide—and calling out the MAGA Republicans who are hellbent on taking away our most fundamental rights. We are proud to support this initiative and will work closely with the Reproductive Freedom for All campaign and our partners to turn out in support of this initiative in November.”
Earlier this month, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that a preliminary injunction blocking enforcement of the state’s 1931 felony abortion ban does not apply to county prosecutors. However, this was later blocked by an Oakland County Circuit Court judge, meaning that the abortion ban remains blocked. At a time when anti-choice majorities in the state legislature are attempting to restrict abortion access, this ballot initiative is an opportunity to lock the right to abortion into Michigan’s constitution and ensure it is in line with the majority of Michiganders who support reproductive freedom.
In June, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization—ending the constitutional right to abortion and opening the door for extremist state lawmakers to put total bans on abortion in place. This decision is already having a devastating impact throughout the country as 14 states have begun enforcing extreme or total bans on abortion. The people hurt most by these bans and restrictions are those who already face barriers to accessing abortion care—including women; Black, Indigenous, and other people of color; those working to make ends meet; the LGBTQ+ community; immigrants; young people; those living in rural communities; and people with disabilities.
For over 50 years, NARAL Pro-Choice America has fought to protect and advance reproductive freedom at the federal and state levels—including access to abortion care, birth control, pregnancy and post-partum care, and paid family leave—for every body. NARAL is powered by its 4 million members from every state and congressional district in the country, representing the 8 in 10 Americans who support legal abortion.