A new poll conducted on behalf of the ACLU of Michigan underscores the need to let voters decide on this reproductive health issue.
Eclectagraphic by Anne C. Savage, special to Eclectablog
If Right to Life of Michigan and their supporters in the Michigan Legislature have their way, women could be hit with a new limit on their right to choose: Buy separate insurance coverage in case you think you might ever need an abortion.
It’s worth understanding the complexities of this issue, but here’s the gist: A petition with signatures representing 4% of Michiganders was presented to the Michigan Legislature by Right to Life of Michigan. The Legislature can either vote on it — a vote that’s likely to pass and would be veto-proof — or put it to a statewide vote in November 2014.
As it stands, this proposal only takes into account the voices of anti-abortion activists.
On December 8, 2013, likely voters were asked the following question:
There is a proposal to prohibit all health insurance companies from offering coverage of abortion care, unless coverage is purchased through an additional policy, even in cases of rape and when the health of the mother is at risk. Do you support or oppose the Michigan legislature making such a law?
A sample size of 300 likely voters in each district delivered these results: Respondents oppose making women buy a separate insurance policy for abortion by a significant margin over those who support it.
House District 39, represented by Klint Kesto, R-Commerce Twp.
26% responding identified as Democrats, 27% identified as Republicans, 39% identified as Independents, 7% identified as either Tea Party or Other.
House District 20, represented by Kurt Heise, R-Plymouth
31% responding identified as Democrats, 21% identified as Republicans, 40% identified as Independents, 8% identified as either Tea Party or Other.
House District 66, represented by Aric Nesbitt, R-Lawton
31% responding identified as Democrats, 25% identified as Republicans, 39% identified as Independents, 5% identified as either Tea Party or Other.
House District 104, represented by Rep. Wayne Schmitt, R-Traverse City (104)
28% responding identified as Democrats, 26% identified as Republicans, 39% identified as Independents, 7% identified as either Tea Party or Other.
Generally, respondents who identified as Democrats were more opposed to this proposed legislation than those who identified as Republicans and Tea Party members. Self-identified Independents were split, with opposition to the measure prevailing in two House Districts and lagging behind in the others. Women were more likely to oppose the proposed legislation than men, but not by much.
These numbers demonstrate that if the Michigan Legislature votes this proposal into law instead of bringing it to a statewide vote in November 2014, they would be willfully ignoring the voice of the people. The people they were elected to represent. Personal views of legislators should not be the deciding factor.
The polling proves that Michigan voters deserve the right to decide.
Michigan Senate Democrats Gretchen Whitmer and Rebekah Warren have created a petition to help ensure that every Michigander has a chance to be heard. Sign the petition at LetMIDecide.com and tell the Michigan Legislature you want your vote counted next November.