Michigan Pro-Life Group Has 400K Signatures for Partial-Birth Abortion Ban

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 1, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Michigan Pro-Life Group Has 400K Signatures for Partial-Birth Abortion Ban

by Paul Nowak
LifeNews.com Staff Writer
April 1, 2004

Lansing, MI (LifeNews.com) — Over 400,000 signatures have been collected in a petition drive to send a ban on the partial-birth abortion procedure back to the Michigan Legislature in veto-proof form.

While only 254,206 signatures from registered voters were needed, Right to Life of Michigan announced that they wanted to gather as many as possible to send a message to pro-abortion Governor Jennifer Granholm (D), who vetoed the Legal Birth Definition Act last year.

As the minimum signature requirement represents 8% of the votes cast in the last gubernatorial election, the collection of almost twice that number indicates a significant block of voters disagrees with the Governor’s action on the bill.

While the pro-life volunteers have 180 days from their start in January to collect the signatures, they will stop the drive April 5 and will present the petitions to the Secretary of State’s office in mid-April.

No other organization has been able to collect enough signatures for legislation in Michigan without using paid circulators in over 20 years.

Once the legislation is reintroduced to the legislature, a simple majority vote in both houses will allow it to become law. The Governor will not be given another chance to veto the legislation, nor will it issue be on the ballot in November.

"The people of Michigan are sending a clear and overwhelming message to Governor Jennifer Granholm," said Barbara Listing, President of Right to Life of Michigan. "This is democracy at its purest and best. We are proud of the people of Michigan for standing up to defend life and demanding that the cruelty of partial birth abortion end.”

The Legal Birth Definition Act seeks to ban the partial-birth abortion procedure by defining a moment of birth — as soon as any part of the baby is visible outside the mother. Drafters of the legislation hope it will be able to stand up to constitutionality tests better than previous bans on the procedure passed in Michigan.

Governor Granholm’s stated reason for her veto last year was that the Legal Birth Definition Act did not provide a health exception for the health of the mother. When it was pointed out that such an exception was present in the legislation, her office joined pro-abortion advocates in claiming that such provisions were insufficient.

"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. Trials are underway in three states.

Related web sites:
Right to Life of Michigan – https://www.rtl.org