Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder Signs Partial-Birth Abortion Ban

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 11, 2011   |   7:01PM   |   Lansing, MI

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder today signed the recently-passed partial-birth abortion ban into law, making it so Michigan follows Congress in banning the gruesome abortion procedure.

States are banning the abortions to allow local officials to assist federal authorities in enforcing the law and in case the federal law is ever repealed.

Senate Majority Floor Leader Arlan Meekhof, the prime sponsor of the measure, thanked the governor, saying, “I’m proud to see these life-saving measures signed into law. Life is a precious gift that must be defended. That is exactly what these new laws do — protect life.”

The legislature approved Senate Bills 160-161 and the bills would prohibit partial birth abortions (SB 160) and provide sentencing penalties for anyone convicted of violating the law (SB 161). Both measures received a 3-1 vote to move on to the next stage of the legislative process. Senate Bill 160 passed the Senate 29-8 and House Bill 4109 passed the House 75-33.

Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing, also thanked the governor, calling his signing of the abortion ban “a long awaited, celebrated achievement by dedicated prolife people in Michigan.”

“Partial Birth Abortion shall be no more in the great state of Michigan,” she said. “”More than 15 years ago the reality of this horrific abortion procedure fist came into the public light. Since that time, prolife citizens have partnered with elected officials to ban partial birth abortions in Michigan. We are celebrating this achievement, not for ourselves, but for our state as a whole. The final step to this journey, Gov. Snyder’s signature, restores a sense of sanity and restores more respect for human life. We express our profound gratitude to the legislature and the governor for their role in making this a reality.”

“Partial birth abortion is a heinous act of killing a child who is more born than unborn and it breaches every boundary of human dignity and justice. But even with this great achievement behind us, our steadfast prolife work remains,” Listing added. “We will continue with our tireless efforts to be a voice for the most vulnerable human lives in our state.”

“Michigan joins dozens of other states in declaring that there is no right, constitutional or otherwise, to kill a child inches from complete birth. This Michigan law will be enforceable by state officials, including the attorney general and local prosecutors. The law is slated to take effect on January 1, 2012,” she explained.

The first Michigan law to ban partial birth abortion was enacted in 1996, signed by Governor John Engler, but eventually overturned by the federal courts. Two other versions were later enacted, one in 2004 via a statewide petition drive, after Governor Jennifer Granholm vetoed the same language that had been passed by the legislature in 2003.

It was January 15, 2004, when Right to Life of Michigan  kicked off “The People’s Override,” a citizen initiative to bypass the Governor’s veto and enact the Legal Birth Definition Act to ban partial birth abortions in Michigan. RLM volunteers across the state collected 460,034 signatures in just three months.

The Partial Birth Abortion Ban signed today by Governor Rick Snyder is parallel to a federal law signed by President George W. Bush and upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2007.

Michigan Catholic Conference president Paul Long released a statement following passage:  “Banning partial-birth abortion in our state is the most common sense policy a civilized society could enact. There is no place in our state for those who seek to terminate the life of an unborn child partially delivered from his or her mother. Today Michigan should stand proud in following the lead of dozens of other states and the federal government by prohibiting this most heinous and gruesome practice.”

“With a 15 year struggle now behind us, and with legal and political obstacles having been removed, Michigan Catholic Conference looks forward to Governor Snyder signing the ban into law. It must not be overlooked that this legislation received broad support from both Democrats and Republicans. Their vote today in support of justice for the unborn deserves applause,” Long said.