Michigan Bill Banning Partial-Birth Abortions Heads to State Legislature

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 27, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Michigan Bill Banning Partial-Birth Abortions Heads to State Legislature

by Paul Nowak
LifeNews.com Staff Writer
May 27, 2004

Lansing, MI (LifeNews.com) — The Michigan State Board of Canvassers approved the signature petition submitted to prohibit partial-birth abortions, revealing yet another record-breaking aspect of the citizen’s petition to override Governor Jennifer Granholm’s veto.

"Our efforts have been record breaking from the beginning," said Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing.

"We completed the entire petition drive in half the time allotted by law. We collected close to twice the number of signatures required by our state Constitution. With 460,034 signatures submitted, we set a new record in Michigan for the most signatures ever collected with volunteers. And today we set yet another record, the highest validity rate of any petition drive in Michigan."

The Elections Division of the Secretary of State’s Office reported that the validity rate of the signatures was 97.3 percent, the highest in the state’s history, according to the division. The number of signatures submitted was also the state’s highest for a petition that did not use paid circulators.

The Michigan Board of Canvassers will now send the Legal Birth Definition Act, vetoed last year by Governor Granholm, back to the Michigan Legislature.

A simple majority vote will pass the measure into law, without giving Granholm another chance to veto it.

"The Legal Birth Definition Act is a sound and sensible measure intended to put an end to a horrific procedure that has been a plague in our society for far too long," said Kristen Hemker of the Michigan Catholic Conference.

"Unfortunately a court challenge awaits the imminent passage of the bill from those who use such words as ‘radical’ and ‘extreme’ in describing the hundreds of thousands of Michigan citizens who believe in the dignity of the human person," Hemker added.

Only 254,206 signatures were required, representative of 8% of Michiganders who voted in the last gubernatorial election. The number of signatures actually submitted shows that over 14% of potential voters disagreed enough with the Governor’s veto to petition for its override within a three month period.

The Legal Birth Definition Act seeks to ban the partial-birth abortion procedure by defining a moment of birth as the time when 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.

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