LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – A late decision from the Michigan Supreme Court will allow voters to decide whether to protect abortion rights in the state constitution and make it easier to vote.
The court decisions come after the state’s Board of Canvassers was previously deadlocked over certifying both ballot proposal petitions.
For some doctors, the ruling to let the people decide the future of their reproductive health brings some relief.
“For me, I look forward to November but between now and then, I’m just going to keep providing the care I’ve been providing to my patients for almost 50 years,” said OBGYN Dr. Timothy Johnson.
Dr. Johnson said Thursday’s decision brings some comfort after a turbulent summer of blocks and appeals surrounding the enforcement of the state’s 1931 abortion ban. The Reproductive Freedom for All ballot initiative, if passed, would protect the right to an abortion in the Michigan Constitution as well as other reproductive issues like access to birth control.
Opponents like Christen Pollo said the initiative should have been thrown out due to grammar issues.
“And then it goes on to create a loophole so big that you can drive a truck through it. If you ask any woman if a pregnancy has impacted her physical and mental health they will say that it has,” said Pollo.
The court ruled the Board of Canvassers’ duties are limited to reviewing a petition’s form, content and if it had enough signatures. The court said since the proposal had the needed signatures, they have to certify them.
The Promote the Vote 2022 initiative case had a similar ruling.
In a statement, supporters said the proposed State Constitution amendment would make voting easier. One opponent said some details have merit like requiring early voting and counting military and overseas ballots postmarked by Election Day but he said he’s concerned about increasing access to absentee ballots and that election law should be left to lawmakers.
“We can change the law anytime now with the legislator. Constitution requires a vote of the people and can occur only on a very not readily bases ” said Jamie Roe with Secure MI Vote.