Advocates gather signatures for abortion rights ballot initiative

Abortion advocates are out gathering signatures for a new ballot initiative in response to the Supreme Court’s decision on Friday to overturn Roe V. Wade.
Published: Jun. 25, 2022 at 3:04 PM EDT
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MIDLAND, Mich. (WNEM) - Abortion advocates are out gathering signatures for a new ballot initiative in response to the Supreme Court’s decision on Friday to overturn Roe V. Wade.

The decision could result in abortion bans in about half of the country.

“I’m feeling encouraged. I’m also still feeling angry, frankly. And that’s what’s keeping me going,” said Allison Wilcox from the Women of Michigan Action Network.

Local prochoice advocates are getting voters’ signatures for the Reproductive Freedom for All Ballot Initiative.

“The news on Friday really galvanized people so we’ve had a lot more people show up today to sign because they’re just worried about it, they can’t believe,” Wilcox said.

She and a team were outside the Midland Farmer’s Market, and others were at the Midland County Democratic Party headquarters, and some were getting signatures at the Great Lakes Bay Pride Festival in Bay City.

“We’ve had a lot of support from the public, especially amongst this crowd because these are people who are interested in privacy rights to personal decisions. So yes, we’re getting a lot of support for that,” said Karen Tighe, the Bay County Democratic Party Chair.

The initiative needs more than 425,000 signatures to make it onto November’s ballot.

If passed by voters, the state constitution would include the right to an abortion and other reproductive freedoms.

“I’m here to help protect women’s reproductive rights. And it’s been protected for 50 years, and our Supreme Court decided that it shouldn’t be anymore, which I think is a step in the wrong direction,” said Michael Wackerly, a Bay County resident.

A prolife resident was at the petition table too, handing out cards.

“I’m talking to people coming here and telling them about what Michigan Right to Life has to say about the reproductive freedom for all act amendment,” said Brad Morse, Right to Life of Michigan member. “I don’t believe in abortion. I don’t believe God wants that. All babies are God created I believe, and I don’t think it’s our right to terminate life, I think that’s God’s right.”

The petition had thousands of signatures in mid-Michigan alone before Friday.