Group plans to try to bypass Whitmer signature on abortion changes

May 22, 2019

A Michigan group wants to ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected. This would effectively ban abortions after around six weeks. The Michigan Heartbeat Coalition filed ballot petition language with the Secretary of State Tuesday.

Mark Gurley is with the coalition. He said the group wants to get enough signatures to then send the measure to the state Legislature for a vote. Once that happens, the Republican-led Legislature can pass the measure instead of putting it on the November 2020 ballot – and without the governor’s signature. 

“It’s more to just bypass the fact that we don’t need to make this a circus and a parade,” Gurley said of the plans for the measure. “I think the 2020 elections will be heated enough with the presidential election cycle.”

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has said she woud veto anti-choice legislation that reaches her desk. Democratic Senator Mallory McMorrow (D-Royal Oak) said she will fight any attempt to pass the measure if the Legislature is given the option. 

“The attempt to circumvent the governor, I mean it’s very frustrating,” she said. “And what we’ve seen is none of my constituents asked for this. This is an onslaught that’s taking place on the national level to slowly chip away at women’s rights.”

The group needs more than 300-thousand qualifying signatures to get on the ballot.