Pam Sherstad, Right to Life of Michigan
Keeping tax dollars and insurance premiums from paying for the destruction of innocent human life as part of health care is a high priority for registered voters in Michigan. Volunteers across the state circulated petitions throughout the summer to initiate Abortion Insurance Opt-Out legislation. More than 315,000 signatures were submitted to the Secretary of State’s office on Friday, October 4, sending a strong message to Michigan lawmakers that abortion is not health care.
Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said, “Prolife people from every county in Michigan responded to the need to keep our tax dollars and health insurance premiums from paying for abortion. Because of their efforts, the petition drive was cut-off more than 2 months early. Volunteers organized opportunities for people to sign at churches, county fairs, family reunions, athletic events, and we even heard of a bride circulating petitions at her wedding reception. The dedication of people is inspiring.”
Michigan’s Constitution allows the people of the state to initiate legislation through a petition; 258,088 signatures of registered voters needed to be collected in 180 days to initiate the Abortion Insurance Opt-Out Act. Signatures for the NO Taxes for Abortion Insurance petition drive were collected in less than 4 months.
Listing said, “Enthusiastic volunteers are sending a loud and clear message that abortion should not be included as a standard ‘benefit’ in health insurance plans. Well more than the required signatures were submitted, driving home the point that abortion ends a life and cannot be considered health care.”
After the Board of Canvassers verifies the signatures, the legislature will have 40 calendar days to respond. With a simple majority vote in both the Michigan House and Senate, the Abortion Insurance Opt-Out Act becomes law without the governor’s signature. A majority of the House and Senate have already signed the petition.
Listing said, “Our actions speak volumes. Abortion is not health care and the people of Michigan want to join the other 23 states which have opted-out of abortion coverage in the health plans offered through the Affordable Care Act.”