LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Michigan’s highest court has cleared the way for voters to decide if they want to make abortions legal in the state.
Though opponents asked the court to block the vote, in a split decision, the Michigan Supreme Court (MSC) gave the green light to a statewide vote.
Those not in favor of the pro-choice ballot told the court there were so many errors in the petition language that it should be blocked from going before the voters.
The MSC rejected that argument allowing the constitutional amendment to go to all of the voters in November.
The decision is significant on two fronts.
First, there is the public health aspect of the ruling. If the voters say yes, women would continue to have the right to have an abortion in Michigan.
Secondly, there are a host of political ramifications to the decision including:
- More Democrats voting
- Democrats voting for Democrats
- Candidates have to take a stance on abortion
Pollster Richard Czuba contends the abortion issue will dominate the political debate this fall.
“We’re going to see this front and center in a whole lot of races in Michigan,” said Czuba. “There is no escaping for a candidate on where they stand on Roe v. Wade. Where do you stand on this constitutional amendment?”
GOP candidate for governor Tudor Dixon blames the governor for trying to run this race on the abortion issue when voters are more concerned about inflation and the economy.
However, 26% of the voters in a recent Detroit News survey ranked inflation as the number one issue, while 34% rated abortion as their major concern.
Candidate Dixon opposes abortions in the case of rape and incest but 80% of the voters disagree with her and 63% of strong Republican voters disagree with her.
“Republicans don’t appear to have a clear coherent answer on the rape and incest question and that really is a motivating factor here from voters, particularly for independents,” continued Czuba.
So the fact that the high court allows a statewide vote keeps this issue on the political front burner for the next two months.