Editorial: Michigan voters can show the country how to protect abortion rights
This editorial appeared in the Michigan Messenger on Oct. 24, 2015.
Michigan voters showed what the rest of America can do when they decided Nov. 6 to expand their right to choose.
That’s because the issue wasn’t just about abortion; it was also about a woman’s right to make the right decision for herself, her family and her future. Voters had the chance to send a message that the U.S. is ready to protect women’s rights.
Michigan voters should also send an important message to other states that they should not follow Kentucky and Mississippi in restricting abortion access — and then take it away from them.
Many Americans are confused about how to protect Roe v. Wade, or when to call out politicians who violate the constitutional rights of women.
In reality, every option, no matter how difficult or inconvenient, is available to protect a woman’s right to choose abortion.
Here’s what Michigan voters should know.
The new bill is constitutional
The new laws are constitutional, as long as Michigan’s Supreme Court doesn’t strike them down.
The new laws, which expand the definition of a crisis pregnancy clinic, and bar abortion providers from performing procedures to determine the sex of a fetus, were passed by the Democrat-controlled Legislature and signed into law by Republican Gov. Rick Snyder.
The legislation is the result of a 2010 law, passed by Democrats in Michigan and signed by Republican Gov. Jennifer Granholm, that makes it a crime to knowingly perform or attempt to perform an abortion after a fetus has a detectable heartbeat and is determined to have a “visible exterior” outside the womb.
Michigan voters approved the law in a statewide referendum. The law was upheld by the Michigan Supreme Court, prompting the state Department of Health and Human Services to make the change that led to the new laws.
The court’s decision is not a final one.
However, since the high court upheld the law, Justice John Cleland