Ballot drive to protect abortion rights launched in Michigan


FILE – The Supreme Court is seen at dusk in Washington, Oct. 22, 2021. Both sides are telling the Supreme Court there’s no middle ground in Wednesday’s showdown over abortion. The justices can either reaffirm the constitutional right to an abortion or wipe it away altogether. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A ballot drive launched in Michigan on Friday would protect women’s right to an abortion in case the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.

Reproductive Freedom for All’s petition would amend the state constitution to affirm the right to make pregnancy decisions without political interference, including abortion, supporters said. Groups backing the effort include Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan, the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan and Michigan Voices.

The ballot committee needs about 425,000 valid voter signatures to put the measure on the November ballot.

Michigan still has a 90-year-old ban on the books if Roe v. Wade is reversed.

The high court last month heard arguments on whether to uphold Mississippi’s ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Conservative justices may even overturn the nationwide right that has existed for nearly 50 years.

Nicole Wells Stallworth, executive director of Planned Parenthood Advocates, said the vast majority of residents want abortion to remain legal and accessible. The state is at a “critical moment in history for abortion access,” she said. “We all have the right to determine our own futures.”

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