Anti-abortion ballot drives to start soon in Michigan

Jun 19, 2019

Petition form
Credit Wikipedia

Groups backing two anti-abortion ballot drives in Michigan are poised to begin gathering signatures after clearing procedural steps.

The bipartisan Board of State Canvassers on Tuesday approved 100-word summaries that will appear atop the petitions. They also OK'd the petition forms.

One measure would prohibit abortion at the detection of a fetal heartbeat, except if the mother faces a serious health risk. Another measure would ban a common second-trimester abortion procedure known as dilation and evacuation - which critics call "dismemberment - except to save the mother's life.

Abortion-rights advocates opposed how officials wrote the summaries, calling some wording "intentionally provocative" and misleading. The board made one change but otherwise backed the language.

The initiatives could be enacted by the Republican-led Legislature without the signatures of Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.