September 12, 2022

Constitutional Amendment to Legalize Abortion Placed on Michigan Ballot

Following a directive from the Michigan Supreme Court, the state's Board of State Canvassers placed a constitutional amendment that would legalize abortion through all nine months of pregnancy on Michigan's fall ballot.

The amendment would also allow anyone, including those who don't have any medical training, to "assist" with abortions.

Michigan's Supreme Court voted 5-2 to override the deadlocked party-line vote by the Board of State Canvassers. The proposed amendment gathered far more than the 425,000 signatures required to place it on the ballot. Republicans on the board argued that formatting errors made the language of the petition unreadable. They argued that the signees could not have known what they were signing, and the petition was therefore invalid. The Michigan Supreme Court overrode them.

Just days before, Court Claims Judge Elizabeth Gleicher ruled that Michigan's 1931 law banning abortion violated the state Constitution. Gleicher notably argued against this law as a lawyer for Planned Parenthood in 1997. The Court of Appeals denied her request to create a state right to abortion at the time, but now she has the power to make the ruling herself (despite her conflict of interest as a Planned Parenthood contributor).