Michigan Pro-Life Group Wants Personhood Initiative on State Ballot

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 12, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Michigan Pro-Life Group Wants Personhood Initiative on State Ballot Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
December 12, 2005

Lansing, MI (LifeNews.com) — A new pro-life group in Michigan wants to put a measure on the November 2006 ballot that would legally define a person under state law as existing at the moment of conception. However, other pro-life leaders in the state are concerned at the timing of the idea.

Cal Zastrow, the head of the new group Michigan Citizens for Life, told the Associated Press, "People want to participate in government."

His organization would need to come up with 317,000 signatures to get the measure before voters during the next election. The Board of State Canvassers approved the group’s signature form last Wednesday, which is a first step.

If Zastrow’s group is successful and Michigan voters approve the initiative, it could force a legal battle over the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that allowed virtually unlimited abortions throughout pregnancy.

Other pro-life leaders in the state, including Right to Life of Michigan, are worried about the timing and money.

Michigan will be a key battleground state in 2006 as pro-life advocates work to defeat pro-abortion Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who has vetoed pro-life legislation, and Debbie Stabenow, a U.S. senator with a pro-abortion voting record.

While pro-life groups spend their time and money on those contests, additional funds for a statewide initiative battle will be in short supply. Some even worry that the petition would lose as a result — causing the state an embarrassing loss.

Thanks to pro-life legislation in the state, abortions there have been on the decline. In 2004, Michigan reported 26,269 abortions, a 46.5 percent decrease from a high in 1987 of 49,098.