Right to Life of Michigan Statement on Dismemberment Petition Drive End

Lansing, MI — Right to Life of Michigan will not challenge the Bureau of Elections’ recommendation that there were not 340,047 valid signatures in the Michigan Values Life petition drive to ban dismemberment abortions.

The Board of State Canvassers will meet Friday to consider the Bureau of Elections’ recommendation.

The following statement can be attributed to Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing:

We know we submitted signatures from more than 340,047 registered voters. It is tragic that children will continue to be dismembered because we lost just enough signatures due to errors and petition damage like small tears and stains. Instead of focusing on court challenges regarding the counting process, we will be focusing on the critical 2020 elections moving forward.

Our volunteers did an excellent job, but the bulk of the errors were things beyond our control, specifically people not knowing their voter registration status or forgetting they already signed the petition. Because we were about 20,000 signatures short of our goal of 400,000, we left room for Planned Parenthood to pick us apart so they can continue profiting from dismembering babies. We must hit our goal next time we do a petition drive.

Our petition drive system works well in normal times, but this time we were forced to fight a series of unprecedented battles we did not choose. We had to retrain volunteers for a different petition drive law, the dismemberment ban was never sent to the governor to veto, a competing prolife petition drive confused people, and we faced other challenges every step of the way.

The biggest hurdle was the large turnout in the 2018 election, which increased the number of signatures required. Our signature total would have been more than required in any previous year in Michigan history. We submitted about 65,000 more signatures than we did in our successful petition drive in 2013 to stop taxes from paying for abortion insurance coverage. It wasn’t enough this time.

The effort behind this petition drive was worth it and will carry forward. Thousands of volunteers were mobilized to educate more than 400,000 people about this barbaric abortion procedure.

We overcame 17 vetoes to ban tax-funded abortions in Michigan. We overcame three court challenges to ban the partial-birth abortion procedure. This was our first attempt to end the dismemberment of babies in Michigan, and we will continue working until we end this form of violence and protect the lives of every unborn child.

For more information: Right to Life of Michigan Legislative Director Genevieve Marnon, (517) 487-3376, info@rtl.org.

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