Mi heartbeat coalition

Michigan Group Launches Ballot Drive For Abortion Ban After 1st Heartbeat

May 21, 2019 - 5:17 pm

LANSING (WWJ/AP) - A Michigan group is launching a ballot drive to ban abortions after a fetus's heartbeat is detected, with exceptions to protect a pregnant woman's life or health.

The Michigan Heartbeat Coalition filed its initiative wording Tuesday. It's the second ballot committee to push an anti-abortion measure, following a Right to Life-backed group that's seeking to prohibit a second-trimester abortion procedure.

A fetal heartbeat can be detected at six weeks, before Planned Parenthood says most women even know they're pregnant.

If roughly 340,000 valid signatures are gathered, the heartbeat initiative will go to the Republican-led Legislature. It could enact it or allow a statewide vote.

“The purpose of this petition drive is not only to protect babies with beating hearts in Michigan, it’s about far more than that. The Heartbeat Bill is designed to be the arrow in the heart of Roe v. Wade,” said Corey Shankleton, President of Michigan Heartbeat Coalition, in a media release.

"The more states that adopt The Heartbeat Bill, the more quickly and certainly Roe v. Wade will be overturned."

There is disagreement even among anti-abortion activists over this latest initiative. Proponents say it would protect more lives, while Right to Life worries the measure could interfere with an abortion ban already on the books if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

“We are not supportive of a heartbeat ban in Michigan, because Michigan law already bans all abortion except to save the life of the mother,” said Right to Life's Genevieve Marnon. “It’s a fine bill, wrong state.”

Meanwhile, those against such bans say they violate women's constitional rights and are dangerous. 

"Abortion is health care," Michigan Planned Parenthood Advocates‏ tweeted Tuesday. "Before abortion was legal and safe, illegal abortions caused at least 1 in 6 pregnancy-related deaths. We can't — and we won't — go back."