News Release: Petition Signatures Ready to Outlaw Partial-Birth Abortion in Michigan

Nearly Double the Necessary Number of Signatures Collected to Override Veto

April 15, 2004

LANSING—The Catholic Church is helping to send a loud and clear message opposing partial-birth abortion today as more than 460,000 petition signatures are submitted to the Secretary of State overriding the governor’s veto of the Legal Birth Definition Act, legislation that would have banned the heinous procedure in Michigan.

“Today, along with Right to Life of Michigan and the Knights of Columbus, the Michigan Catholic Conference and the 802 parishes across the state are sending a clear message that we will not accept such destruction of human life,” said Sister Monica Kostielney, R.S.M., Michigan Catholic Conference president and C.E.O. “The sheer number of people that volunteered to work on the People’s Override campaign and sign the petitions are a clear indication of our state’s overwhelming support of the promotion and protection of life.”

Earlier this year the Michigan Catholic Conference and the 802 Catholic parishes joined the S.T.T.O.P. coalition (Standing Together to Oppose Partial-birth Abortion) to support the People’s Override campaign and its goal of overriding Governor Granholm’s veto of the Legal Birth Definition Act. The Michigan Catholic Conference in its 40-year history of advocacy has continuously spoken out against abortion on demand while working for legislation that protects and promotes human life.

In January the Michigan Catholic Conference announced a “Catholic Action Plan” that entailed designating a contact person in every parish in Michigan to organize petition drives in their respective parish. The Archdiocese of Detroit immediately isolated three weekends to conduct such drives while at the same time offering homilies and bulletin information on the campaign. The additional six Catholic dioceses of Michigan: Gaylord, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Marquette and Saginaw also implemented similar plans to gather signatures.

The Legal Birth Definition Act passed the House of Representatives and Senate by a near two-thirds majority before the governor’s veto last year. Citizen-initiated legislation, however, does not require the governor’s signature to be enacted and cannot be vetoed. After the State Board of Canvassers verify today’s petitions, both chambers need only re-pass the bill by a simple majority before the state outlaws partial-birth abortions in Michigan.

Michigan Catholic Conference is the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in this state.

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