by Steven Ertelt
April 3, 2006
Lansing, MI (LifeNews.com) — A new pro-life group in Michigan is continuing its petition drive to gather enough signatures to qualify an abortion vote for the November ballot. Michigan Citizens for Life wants state residents to be able to vote on a measure that would legally define a person under state law as existing at the moment of conception.
The group is hoping to use the ballot initiative as a method of challenging the Roe v. Wade decision that toppled pro-life laws across the country in 1973.
Should the ballot proposal qualify and state voters approve it, abortion advocates have already pledged to take the measure to court and the ACLU has said it would lead the way.
But first, in order to qualify, canvassers need to turn in at least 317,757 valid signatures from registered voters by the first part of July.
"We’re not there yet. But we can get there," Cal Zastrow, a spokesman for the group, told the Associated Press. "It looks good."
The group has an uphill battle because the state’s largest pro-life organization is concentrating it’s limited resources on other key battles.
Right to Life of Michigan says its focused on the November elections, where pro-life advocates hope to unseat two top pro-abrotion lawmakers — Gov. Jennifer Granholm and Sen. Debbie Stabenow.
The group also told AP the petition is not needed — saying the state already has a law on the books that would prohibit abortions when Roe v. Wade is overturned.
Though the groups are not working on the same projects in 2006, representatives of both say they’re both pursuing the same pro-life goals of stopping abortions.
"Is there room for everybody? Absolutely," Pam Sherstad of Right to Life of Michigan told AP. "The more pro-life people, the better."
"They’re great people," Zastrow said of RLM. "They’re not on board right now, but that’s OK."
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.