By Right to Life of Michigan News
Throughout the summer and into the fall, a coalition of prolife volunteers around the state will be collecting signatures to ban the dismemberment abortion procedure in Michigan.
Dismemberment abortions (also called D&E, or dilation and evacuation abortions) are the most common late-term abortion procedure. In 2018, there were 1,908 dismemberment abortions reported to the state of Michigan.
Using Michigan’s unique citizen-initiated legislation process, Right to Life of Michigan affiliates, volunteers, and members of other prolife groups will collect more than 400,000 signatures under the name Michigan Values Life. If 340,047 of those signatures are valid, legislation to ban dismemberment abortions will be initiated into the Legislature. If it passes the Michigan House and Senate by majority votes, the legislation becomes law without the input of Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
Governor Whitmer has been outspoken in her support for abortion. She has promised to veto the dismemberment abortion ban. Thankfully, the voters elected prolife majorities to the Michigan House and Senate—both chambers voted to pass a dismemberment ban in May.
The word “dismemberment” was not invented by prolife groups. It was the pro-Roe v. Wade U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy who described a dismemberment abortion in Stenberg v. Carhart:
“The fetus, in many cases, dies just as a human adult or child would: It bleeds to death as it is torn limb from limb. The fetus can be alive at the beginning of the dismemberment process and can survive for a time while its limbs are being torn off.”
It was Justice Anthony Kennedy who provided the pivotal vote on the Supreme Court to uphold a federal ban on partial-birth abortions as constitutional in Gonzales v. Carhart, even with Roe v. Wade still in place, which forced abortion-on-demand on all 50 states back in 1973. By describing dismemberment abortions in his opinion, a path has been laid before us to take the next step in restoring legal protection for unborn children.
We have the legal strategy. The dismemberment abortion ban literally amends our partial-birth abortion ban by adding dismemberment abortions to it. If the Supreme Court is ready to overturn Roe v. Wade, this bill could be the one, and Michigan’s pre-Roe v. Wade ban on all abortion could go back into legal effect. If the U.S. Supreme Court is not ready to overturn all of Roe, a dismemberment ban is the next logical crack in Roe’s foundation.
We have the volunteers. Right to Life of Michigan affiliates around the state are already hard at work collecting signatures. Other prolife organizations have joined the Michigan Values Life coalition, including the Michigan Catholic Conference, Lutherans for Life, Assemblies of God, Citizens for Traditional Values, the Michigan Family Forum, Protect Life Michigan, and more.
Now, it’s up to all of us to do the work. We can stop this barbaric procedure and help reduce late-term abortions in Michigan. We can send a message that Michigan is not New York; unborn lives matter to us and should not be thrown into dumpsters outside businesses masquerading as medical clinics.
Help be a part of this life-saving effort. Go to MichiganValuesLife.org to request petitions to be sent to you, read instructions on how to circulate them, read the bill itself, and find other resources.
We have 180 days to collect signatures, starting from June 26, 2019. Please help us find 400,000 co-sponsors to the dismemberment abortion ban—with time to spare.