GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Abortion rights advocates are supporting a petition to put the legalization of abortion on the November ballot in Michigan.
Volunteers with the Reproductive Freedom for All ballot initiative collected nearly 200 signatures Sunday evening in Grand Rapids. The petition drive was setup outside Fountain Street Church, where a vigil was held in response to the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
The petition needs a total of 425,000 valid signatures by July 11 to make the ballot. Volunteers told News 8 this is their last week collecting signatures as the organization wants everything turned in by July 1.
“They want to view the signatures to make sure they’re legal before turning them into the state,” volunteer Barbra Reinoehl said.
If passed by voters, the initiative would amend the Michigan constitution to protect the right to abortion.
Reinoehl collected signatures at four events this weekend. She said people came out in droves following the Supreme Court decision.
“I’ve been doing it for a couple of months and this weekend I’ve been very busy,” she said.
Organizers have not said how many signatures have been gathered so far, but say they expect to reach the threshold, plus additional signatures in case some are disqualified.
Melanie Fish said she and her family drove 45 minutes from Montcalm County to sign the petition Sunday in Grand Rapids.
“We all have went from the day that it was leaked until now thinking everything is going to be OK and it’s not,” Fish said. “The time is now, we don’t have any other time. We need to get out here.”
Others said it felt good to take action, even if it’s just putting pen to paper.
“Even if it is a smaller action, it feels a lot bigger,” Sophie Beechnau said.