LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Michigan Right to Life activists rallied at the Michigan Capitol on Wednesday to challenge new laws expanding access to health care, including abortion in the state.
Hundreds hit the Capitol lawn to protest on the first anniversary of the passage of Proposal 3. The state legislature has passed legislation to integrate the new constitutional amendment adopted by voters last November.
That proposal enshrined reproductive health care rights, including abortion access, in the state constitution. During the first Michigan Right to Life Rally, advocates who oppose abortion made a call for action by supporters.
“This is the first time we’ve made a statewide effort to bring people from all corners of the state,” Genevieve Marnon, legislative director for Michigan Right to Life, tells 6 News.
With the crowd shrouded under a blanket of umbrellas, some lawmakers spoke in favor of what they called the pro-life movement.
But Marnon had a message for those lawmakers who did not attend.
“We want to let the people in charge who passed this egregious pro-abortion bill that we are not going away,” she says. “We are going to stay here and be a voice for the voiceless.”
The ‘pro-abortion bill’ Marnon is referring to is legislation passed by both chambers of the legislature enshrining changes made in the state constitution last year by Michigan voters.
Those who support the legislation, and the constitutional amendment, include advocacy organizations like the ACLU of Michigan.
Merissa Kovach, legislative director for the ACLU of Michigan, explains what the newly passed legislation does.
“It repeals many of Michigan’s outdated and unconstitutional and medically unnecessary abortion restrictions,” Kovach tells 6 News. “It’s going to ensure people are free to make their own medical decisions without political interference.”
She adds, “and we are really grateful to the legislature that saw that coming, saw the calling from votes in Michigan.”
The ‘calling’ was a 56%-43% election win for Proposal 3 last November. By that vote, Michiganders made it the law, but advocates opposed to the measures say their fight is not over.
“We now have a constitutional right to abortion enshrined in our constitution,” Marnon says. “We still want to encourage women to make a choice for life, and that’s what we want, to send that message.”