LANSING — Right to Life of Michigan has dropped a petition campaign seeking to ban an abortion procedure, the group announced Tuesday.
Right to Life had collected signatures for a legislative initiative to ban an abortion procedure medically known as dilation and evacuation, a procedure that abortion opponents call “dismembered abortion.”
But in June, based on a sampling of submitted signatures, state election officials determined the group had fallen short of the required just over 340,000. If Right to Life had collected the required number of signatures, it could have submitted the bill to the Republican-controlled Legislature for approval, and Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer would not have had a veto over the measure. .
Right to Life said Tuesday it would not challenge the state’s finding of insufficient signatures.
“We know we have submitted the signatures of over 340,047 registered voters,” group chair Barbara Listing said in a press release.
“It is tragic that children continue to be dismembered because we have lost just enough signatures due to errors and damage to the petition, such as small tears and stains,” she said. “Instead of focusing on legal challenges over the counting process, we will focus on the critical 2020 elections going forward.”
Listing said the biggest hurdle was the huge turnout in the 2018 election. The number of signatures required is based on the votes cast in the previous election, and this large turnout dramatically increased the number of signatures that the group had to collect.
Lori Carpentier, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan, said credit goes to voters who support abortion rights who turned out in large numbers in 2018 to vote for “health champions reproduction” such as Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel.
“Today is a victory for every doctor and every patient in Michigan, and for every person who has been forced to undergo traumatic procedures because bad laws enacted by right-to-life-backed politicians have demanded it.” , said Carpentier. “Not anymore. The days when the right to life dictated medical care in Michigan are over, and we couldn’t be happier to be the ones saying that.