Abortion rights petition drive sets record in Michigan-- What we know

Number is more than 125,000 more than record set in 2012

Supporters of a petition to make access to abortion a part of the Michigan constitution submit a record number of signatures Monday. The group submitted 753,000 signatures, well above the threshold, to get the issue on the November ballot.

LANSING, Mich. – Supporters of a petition to make access to abortion a part of the Michigan constitution submit a record number of signatures Monday.

The group submitted 753,000 signatures, well above the threshold, to get the issue on the November ballot.

But there are still some hurdles the petition has to get over.

“Hell has no fury like a woman scorned,” said a woman speaking at the podium.

Monday (July 11) was a landmark day for abortion access in Michigan as supporters of the petition to make access part of Michigan’s constitution turned in a record-setting amount of signatures to get the measure on the ballot.

That number is more than 300,000 more than needed and 125,000 more than the record set in 2012.

The petition would allow mostly unrestricted access to abortion and enable the governor or legislature to set limits on fetal viability and maternal health.

Supporters say the groundswell of support should send a clear message, including more than 62,000 volunteers collecting signatures.

“Amending the Michigan constitution is about power,” said Daniel Hamilton of YWCA Kalamazoo. “Our autonomy and our human rights to control our bodies. Today we recognize that we have fought hard to arrive this far, and we are just getting started.”

Opponents like Right to Life Michigan say they plan to challenge the signatures, In a year where forgery and fraud have already played a significant role in state politics.

“There’s been a lot of fraud this year and collecting signatures, and we don’t know if that has played a role in these,” said Anna Visser of Right to Life Michigan. “We’ve heard from our base that a lot of these paid collectors have lied to people who have not been truthful. Spread false information about what they’re actually signing.”

In that press conference Monday, supporters behind the petition said they are confident in their process and are actually turning in about 180,000 fewer signatures than they collected.

Read more: Michigan abortion rights ballot drive submits 753K signatures for November election

On Monday, the deadline to submit, the coalition announced it turned in 753,759 signatures from every county in the state to the Michigan Secretary of State to qualify for the Nov. 8, 2022 ballot. In order to qualify, 425,059 valid signatures of registered Michigan voters are required. The total is bigger than any other ballot drive in state history, according to the ACLU.

ACLU of Michigan Executive Director Loren Khogali released this statement: “The vast majority of Michiganders know that abortion is healthcare: Michigan is on the right side of history as we lead the way with Reproductive Freedom for All and intend to ask Michigan voters on November 8 to protect abortion and reproductive rights in Michigan. The Supreme Court’s overturn of Roe v. Wade will not take away the rights and freedoms of people in Michigan to determine if and when they become a parent. We will not allow forced pregnancy in our state, nor will we stand by as the devastating impacts of a post-Roe world disproportionately impact people of color, LGBTQ+ communities, young people, low-income people, and those living in rural areas. This is your body, your ballot, your choice.”

More: GOP-led Michigan Legislature calls abortion a ‘medically unnecessary procedure’ in injunction appeal


About the Authors:

Grant comes to Local 4 from Oklahoma City. He joins the news team as co-anchor of Local 4 News Today weekend mornings and is a general assignment reporter.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.