In a blow to the anti-choice movement, Michigan Citizens for Life failed to collect enough signatures to get an anti-abortion measure on Michigan’s ballot this November. The group needed to turn in at least 317,757 signatures yesterday in order for Michigan citizens to vote on whether the state constitution should change to legally define the beginning of life from the moment of conception. Organizers told the Associated Press that they had likely collected fewer than 300,000 signatures.
Judy Zabik, a member of Right to Life – Lifespan, which also supported the initiative, told the Detroit Free Press that up to 1,000 petitions were circulating. Group members were bringing them to public places and festivals, but Zabik noted that, while petitions were often welcome at churches, more secular venues were not as responsive.
Currently, anti-abortion attacks on a woman’s right to choose abortion are spreading across the country, but this failed campaign is evidence of divisions within the anti-choice movement. The state’s two largest anti-choice groups, Right to Life of Michigan and the Michigan Catholic Conference, did not support the initiative, calling it “politically risky and unnecessary,” according to the Detroit Free Press.