MI Supreme Court to decide on abortion rights petition after board deadlocks

Posted at 4:18 PM, Aug 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-31 17:35:04-04

(WXYZ) — The Michigan Board of State Canvassers deadlocked on the abortion rights petition in Michigan, meaning the State Supreme Court will most likely determine whether or not it will appear on the November ballot.

The decision comes after nearly three hours of public comment on both the Reproductive Freedom for All petition and the Promote the Vote 2022 petition.

Because of the deadlock, the petition has officially been rejected. However, the group behind the petition, Reproductive Freedom for All, had previously said they would appeal a denial of the petition to the Supreme Court of Michigan. The appeal is expected to officially be filed soon.

Related: MI Supreme Court to decide on voter rights petition after board deadlocks

Many of those against the proposal argued against abortion but also asked the board to vote against the proposal because of typographical errors. Two groups earlier this month filed challenges to the form, citing minimal spacing throughout the text of the language, and another group argued a petition cannot insert nonexistent words in the Constitution.

In a staff report, the Bureau of Elections said it makes no recommendations as to those arguments, as the board's duty is limited to certifying the petitions based on statutory requirements, including the signatures. It's likely that the challenges will end up in the court system to be decided.

The initial proposed 100-word summary for the proposal:

"Proposal 22-3

A proposal to amend the state constitution to establish new individual right to reproductive freedom, including right to make all decisions about pregnancy; allow state to prohibit abortion in some cases; and forbid prosecution of individuals exercising established right

This proposed constitutional amendment would:

  • Establish new individual right to reproductive freedom, including right to make and carry out all decisions about pregnancy, such as prenatal care, childbirth, postpartum care, contraception, sterilization, abortion, miscarriage management, and infertility;
  • Allow state to prohibit abortion after fetal viability unless needed to protect a patient’s life or physical or mental health;
  • Forbid state discrimination in enforcement of this right; prohibit prosecution of an individual, or a person helping a pregnant individual, for exercising rights established by this amendment; and invalidate all state laws that conflict with this amendment.

Should this proposal be adopted?
[ ] YES
[ ] NO"

Michigan currently has a 1931 law banning abortion in place, but that law is on hold while challenges to it make its way through the court system.