Michigan Pro-Life Advocates Collect Petition Signatures at Record Pace
by Paul Nowak
LifeNews.com Staff Writer
February 4, 2004
Lansing, MI (LifeNews.com) — Just two weeks after pro-life groups began collecting signatures to override Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s veto of a pro-life bill that would ban the partial-birth abortion procedure, Right to Life of Michigan has processed 75,000 of the 254,206 signatures needed.
It was estimated that 300,000 petitions would be enough, but another 50,000 had to be printed to meet demand for the volunteers across the state. Signatures have been received from every county in the state.
"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 Michigan Constitution authorizes a 180 day period to collect the signatures. If the initiative is a success, the legislation can be passed by a simple majority vote in the House and Senate, and cannot be vetoed, nor will it require a popular vote on a ballot.
Cardinal Adam Maida has asked the Archdiocese of Detroit’s 1.5 million Catholics to sign the initiative. Other partners in the override petition effort include Baptists for Life, Lutherans for Life, and the Michigan Family Forum.
Church leaders in Michigan were also active in two previous pro-life initiatives to ban partial-birth abortions in 1996 and 1999. Both measures passed but were struck down by the court system. 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.
Granholm told the Detroit Free Press in January that she would approve a partial-birth abortion ban if it provided protections for the mother’s health. Right to Life of Michigan has pointed out that the bill she vetoed already did provide such provisions.
"The governor ignored clear language in the bill stating that a physician could address a legitimate physical threat to the mother," said Right to Life of Michigan. "Because Governor Granholm chose not to protect children who are in the process of being born, the people of Michigan are standing together for the sanctity of human life."
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.
Related web sites:
Right to Life of Michigan – https://www.rtl.org