Michigan Bureau of Elections Resumes Processing End Dismemberment Petitions

By Chris Gast, Right to Life of Michigan

Lansing, MI — The Michigan Bureau of Elections has resumed the vetting process for the petition drive to end dismemberment abortions. The Bureau set June 1 as the deadline for challenges to the signatures.

 “It’s been nearly a year since we began collecting signatures to end this violent late-term abortion procedure,” Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said. “This petition drive has overcome an exhaustive list of challenges, including a global pandemic. We are excited to finally see the end of this process.”

A sample of 500 signatures was pulled by the Bureau, which will determine the overall validity rate of the submitted signatures. The Michigan Values Life coalition submitted 379,419 signatures on December 23, 2019. 340,047 signatures are needed to initiate the ban on dismemberment abortions in the Michigan Legislature.

Listing said, “Planned Parenthood said they will consider challenging our signatures. They want to continue profiting off this heinous procedure. We went above and beyond our normal process for checking our signatures because of the uncertain 2018 change in the petition drive law. We hope to exceed our previous record of a 97 percent validity rate during our 2004 petition drive to ban partial-birth abortions.”

If enough valid signatures remain following the challenge period, the petition will be certified by the Board of State Canvassers and the dismemberment ban will be sent to the Legislature for consideration with a 40-day time limit. Majority votes in the House and Senate will pass the dismemberment ban into law without Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s signature. Initiated legislation that isn’t passed into law is placed on the general election ballot for a public vote.

 “We’re confident our prolife elected majorities in the Legislature will do the right thing and vote for this ban again, just like they did in May of 2019,” Listing said.

The dismemberment abortion procedure is the most frequently used late-term abortion procedure. The procedure works exactly like it sounds; a living unborn child is dismembered and removed from her mother’s womb, one limb at a time. In 2018, there were 1,908 dismemberment abortions in Michigan reported to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

The dismemberment ban bills include an exception if the mother’s life is in danger. However, in published research on reasons women have abortions, the pro-abortion Alan Guttmacher Institute has stated that most late-term abortions are done for economic or social reasons.