Michigan Petition to Override Partial-Birth Ban Veto Approved
by Paul Nowak
LifeNews.com Staff Writer
December 12, 2003
Lansing, MI (LifeNews.com) — The Michigan Board of Canvassers approved a petition to override Governor Jennifer Granholm’s veto of the Legal Birth Definition Act, which would have outlawed partial-birth abortion in the state and avoided judicial roadblocks.
"The People’s Override is in place because Governor Jennifer Granholm chose not to protect children from partial birth abortions," Pamela Sherstad, Director of Public Information for Right to Life of Michigan, told LifeNews.com. "Governor Granholm’s veto of the Legal Birth Definition Act was an insult to the overwhelming majority of Michigan citizens who find partial birth abortion repulsive and indefensible."
The process of collecting the 300,000 signatures of registered voters will commence in January. Right to Life of Michigan reports that over 800 volunteers have already come forward to help with the effort. They will have 180 days to collect the signatures, which amounts to approximately 8 percent of the votes cast in the last gubernatorial election.
Once the signatures are collected, the legislation will be sent back to the state House and Senate, which passed the legislation earlier this year. This time, however, Gov. Granholm will not be able to veto the law, and the issue will not be put on a ballot for public vote.
Gov. Granholm said she vetoed the bill because she believed it did not provide adequate protection for the health of the mother, though partial-birth abortions are never necessary to protect a woman’s health.
"Granholm’s veto message parroted familiar rhetoric from extreme pro-abortion groups that S.B. 395 would ban abortions without providing adequate protections for the life and health of the mother," Right to Life of Michigan explains. "The governor ignored clear language in the bill stating that a physician could address a legitimate physical threat to the mother."
The state of Michigan has failed twice prior, in 1996 and 1999, to declare partial-birth abortion bans constitutional. The language of SB 395 was designed to pass the judicial tests by defining a legal moment of birth — when any part of the child is exits the mother’s womb.
While President Bush recently signed a Partial-Birth Abortion Ban into law, the federal version differs from Michigan’s in that it expressly bans the partial-birth abortion procedure. It is currently being blocked until its constitutionality can be determined.
In 1990 RTLM successfully brought a parental consent bill back to the legislature after Gov. James Blanchard vetoed it.
Related web sites:
Right to Life of Michigan – https://www.rtl.org