Author: Ryan

The First Step to Protecting Women’s Rights

The First Step to Protecting Women’s Rights

Editorial: Michigan voters can show the country how to protect abortion rights with ballot initiative, says Michigan Court of Appeals

May 27, 2010

Michigan voters will not only be electing new members of the Michigan House of Representatives in Tuesday’s primary, they will have the opportunity to show the country how to protect women’s rights with a new ballot initiative.

This fall, voters will be electing the Board of State Canvassers (formerly known as the State Canvass Commission) to decide if a petition approved by the Legislature and signed by at least 12,000 Michigan voters can be added to the ballot and on which issues it will run. A recent poll by SurveyUSA showed that 53 percent of Michigan voters back the measure, and if the measure passes, the Board of State Canvassers will submit the measure to voters in the August primary. If the petition qualifies, it will appear on this fall’s general election ballot. The goal is to have Michigan voters decide the fate of abortion rights, along with the fate of the state Supreme Court, on the same ballot.

I am delighted to see that the effort has gained support. Michigan voters have proven time and time again that they understand the importance of protecting the rights of women and children and, as a result, should have the opportunity to show the country for the next year how to go about this job.

But for a number of reasons, including the fact that the initiative does not have “boots on the ground” to help citizens who live outside the 6th Congressional District to participate in the campaign and to give them the ability to share their voices on election day, I fear that the Michigan voters will vote down the initiative.

When the idea for this initiative was first proposed, I urged Michigan voters to join this project by signing an online petition urging them to support the initiative. I wrote an article in the Nov. 9 issue of U.S. News and World Report outlining the dangers that would come with such a measure and called on Michigan voters to join in to make sure this initiative would fail. I am pleased to report that voters, of all political persuasions and none, have signed onto this effort.

As the first step toward protecting women’s rights, I urge voters to check this petition. The only way to ensure that this effort succeeds is to get a

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