Michigan Supreme Court puts abortion rights question on Nov. ballot

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Michigan voters will see an abortion rights question on the ballot in November, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled on Thursday.

The 5-2 ruling comes after the Michigan Board of State Canvassers last week deadlocked 2-2 along partisan lines, blocking certification of the sweeping amendment that if passed, would enshrine abortion rights into the state’s constitution after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the right at the national level in June.

The deadline to finalize the ballot is Friday.

The Republican members of the board voted against adding the amendment to the ballot because of typographical errors. The anti-abortion group opposing the effort argued that due to missing spaces and other formatting errors the text circulated to voters for their signatures was too confusing, making the petition invalid.

The majority wrote that despite the typos, the meaning of the amendment was not changed.

“Regardless of the existence or extent of the spacing, all of the words remain and they remain in the same order, and it is not disputed that they are printed in 8-point type. In this case, the meaning of the words has not changed by the alleged insufficient spacing between them,” the court ruled.

More than 750,000 people signed the proposal, far more than the roughly 425,000 required to qualify for the ballot.

A 1931 state law makes it a crime to perform most abortions, but the law was suspended in May, and a judge this week struck it down as unconstitutional.

Aside from Michigan, abortion questions are on the ballot in Kentucky, California, Vermont and Montana, the most abortion-related ballot initiatives ever seen in a single year.

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