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State board approves anti-abortion petitions

Posted at 5:10 PM, Jun 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-19 17:10:03-04

LANSING, Mich. — Two groups trying to make it tougher to get an abortion in Michigan have the green light to start gathering signatures.

The State Board of Canvassers approved the wording of petitions banning abortions after a heartbeat can be detected and banning a specific type of procedure.

A proposal from the Michigan Heartbeat Coalition would make abortion illegal after a heartbeat is detected.

Democrats Jeannette Bradshaw and Julie Matuzak voted against the language until the phrase "fetal heartbeat" was changed to "cardiac activity."

"I have a doctorate in theology, not medicine, and so I would debate the philosophy of it, but the actual debate will come down to medical science," said Bill Bolin with the Michigan Heartbeat Coalition.

There was also a dispute over the language in the other proposal - one banning what petitioners call "dismemberment abortion."

"They know that using this sensational language is the only way to win votes for the proposal," said Amanda West with Planned Parenthood of Michigan.

Pro-choice activists use the term "dilation and evacuation" for the procedure.

The Board of Canvassers ultimately approved the use of the word "dismemberment," meaning the group Michigan Values Life could start collecting signatures as soon as Thursday.

Michigan Values Life says they're still waiting to see if Governor Whitmer will veto that dismemberment bill, but they're proceeding as if she will.

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