A Michigan group is launching a ballot drive to ban abortions after a fetus’s heartbeat is detected, with exceptions to protect a pregnant woman’s life or health.
The Michigan Heartbeat Coalition filed its initiative wording Tuesday. It’s the second ballot committee to push an anti-abortion measure, following a Right to Life-backed group that’s seeking to prohibit a second-trimester abortion procedure.
A fetal heartbeat can be detected at six weeks.
If roughly 340,000 valid signatures are gathered, the heartbeat initiative will go to the Republican-led Legislature. It could enact it or allow a statewide vote.
“I think it’ll be the arrow in the heart of Roe,” said Mark Gurley of the Michigan Heartbeat Coalition, referring to Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized abortion.
If passed, the measure would allow doctors to perform an abortion if the life of the mother is at stake. It would not, however, allow one to be performed in cases of rape or incest.
“I know people who…are products of a rape or an incest, and it seems kinda silly to snuff their life out because of the sins of another person,” Gurley said. “Two wrongs don’t make a right.”
Anti-abortion activists disagree over the latest initiative. Pro-choice protesters gathered at the Capitol Building today to make their voices heard.
“This is not just about women’s right to choose. This is about everyone’s right to choose,” Aubrey Otton, one of the protesters, said. “A dead person has more rights than a woman who is over six weeks pregnant in Georgia.”
Proponents say it’d protect more lives, while Right to Life worries the measure could interfere with an abortion ban already on the books if Roe v. Wade is overturned.