LANSING, Mich. (WWMT) — As election day approaches in Michigan, it's not only candidates who will be trying to win over voters to their side.
This November midterm, the state's voters will have multiple policy issues they can vote on directly, including abortion.
The Reproductive Freedom for All ballot petition, which gathered a record number of signatures to make the ballot, would amend Michigan's constitution to make abortion access a right in the state. Michigan residents currently have access to abortion, due to court rulings blocking enforcement of the state's 1931 abortion ban.
The ballot petition and constitutional amendment process is one of the most permanent ways a policy can go into place in Michigan, and both those for and those against the proposal said they recognize how high the stakes are.
“This proposal will allow a more enduring approach by allowing Michigan to use its tools of democracy, allowing voters to decide on this matter for us into the future,” Nicole Wells Stallworth said, the executive director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan, a legislative and advocacy arm of the state's Planned Parenthood organization.
The group Citizens to Support MI Women and Children is campaigning to convince voters to vote no on Reproductive Freedom for All's proposal, calling it extreme and confusing.
“We continue to be out in the field, educating voters through door-to-door efforts and phone calls, securing yard sign placements,” Christen Pollo, the group's spokesperson, said.
Reproductive Freedom for All, or Prop 3 as it will appear on the ballot, is prompting full-on campaigns, rivaling the scale of some gubernatorial efforts.
“We are going to be doing every aspect you would see in a campaign – we’re gonna be up on TV, we’re going to be talking with voters, we’re going into neighborhood and into communities,” Wells Stallworth said.
Four ads between the two campaigns are already on the airwaves, even though Prop 3 was only approved for the ballot two weeks ago.
“We have seen an outpouring of support in these last few weeks as thousands of people have reached out to get involved in our efforts, many of which are young women who are getting involved politically for the first time,” Pollo said.
The issue is also raking in millions of dollars. The latest state fundraising data, from July, shows Reproductive Freedom for All raised nearly $10 million since the start of the campaign in early 2022.
Citizens to Support MI Women and Children, in their July filing, had raised a total of just over $400,000.