LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Several organizations rallied outside city hall with the main focus of getting abortion rights on the November ballot.
The group Reproductive Freedom for All, along with Planned Parenthood and other organizations want the Michigan Supreme Court to make a decision today on the ballot initiative, especially after thousands of signatures were turned in from those in favor of it
Pro-choice advocates gathered this afternoon, including women like Elisheva Johnson, who says at a young age, she became pregnant after being raped and didn’t know until she was six months along.
She had the baby, but says she wants women who are ever in her situation to have a choice.
“If I would’ve had that time, and I would’ve been within that those number of weeks, I probably would’ve changed that decision and probably could’ve been a better mother later” she said. “I keep hearing people say ‘well don’t have sex then.’ Let’s be realistic. There are so many things that can possibly go wrong and rape and incest is so real in our communities,” she continues.
The pro-choice group met with The Board of Canvassers last week and turned in more than 590,000 signatures to have abortion initiatives on the ballot in November, but due to a tie vote, it won’t be for now.
“Despite the fact that the director of the Board of Elections did make that recommendation and did certify that we had submitted over 140,000 more signatures than were required which was 425,059,” said Nicole Wells Stallworth, the Executive Director of Planned Parenthood of Michigan.
But some believe Michigan’s 1931 law banning abortions should stay in place, calling the reproductive rights ballot proposal one of the most extreme in the country.
“It repeals parental consent. So, minors seeking abortions will be able to have abortions without their parents knowledge” says Christen Pollo, spokeswoman for ‘Support Women and Children.’ “It would be unprecedented for something with this many mistakes to be placed on the ballot. So we’re expecting for the Supreme court to do the same thing and refuse to put this mistake riddled amendment before voters” Pollo continues.
As we wait to find out if the question will be put before the people of Michigan or its lawmakers, Johnson says the answer should be up to women.
“This choice is a choice that is going to affect you and your family. So I think that should be left up to us,” she said.
A decision will ultimately come from the state Supreme Court, which has until Friday as that is when ballots will be printed, and start to be mailed out.