GOP lawmakers, Michigan Right To Life sue to block voter-approved abortion rights

A group of GOP state lawmakers and Michigan Right to Life Wednesday sued Gov.Gretchen Whitmer (pictured in February) and other state officials in a bid to overturn a 2022 voter-approved state constitutional right to reproductive freedom, including abortions. File Photo by Andrew Harrer/UPI

Nov. 8 (UPI) -- A group of Michigan GOP lawmakers and the anti-abortion rights group Right To Life of Michigan on Wednesday sued to overturn the will of state voters who approved a 2022 constitutional amendment protecting abortion rights 56.7% to 44.3%.

The lawsuit said that when voters passed that proposal protecting reproductive rights, including abortion, it "created a super-right to "reproductive freedom." At no time in our nation's history has such a super-right, immune from all legislative action, ever been created by a popular vote outside of the checks and balances of a republican form of government."

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was named in the lawsuit. Her press secretary Stacey Larouche said Whitmer would work to defeat the lawsuit.

"It shouldn't be lost on people that these right-wing organizations and radical Republicans in the Michigan Legislature are cherry picking courts to try to once again overturn a constitutionally guaranteed right because they can't win with voters," Larouche said.

The Michigan Right To Life lawsuit states that it seeks "to protect and vindicate fundamental constitutional rights" by seeking to overturn the vote giving all Michigan women what it called the super-right of reproductive freedom.

Michigan's right to reproductive freedom constitutional amendment states, "Every individual has a fundamental right to reproductive freedom, which entails the right to make and effectuate decisions about all matters relating to pregnancy, including but not limited to prenatal care, childbirth, postpartum care, contraception, sterilization, abortion care, miscarriage management, and infertility care."

The Michigan Democratic Party wrote on X that state voters chose to protect abortion rights, "Now a group of Republican state legislators and their extremist allies are trying to overturn your vote. Sound familiar? Republicans have no respect for Michigan voters or our democracy."

Michigan Right To Life's president Barbara Listing said in a statement Michigan's voter-approved state constitutional amendment protecting reproductive rights violates the federal U.S. constitution.

"The provisions asserted to be unconstitutional under federal law threaten legal protections for pregnant women seeking healthcare, the rights of physicians to care for patients, and the rights of parents already under attack on many fronts," the statement said.

Listing also claimed that Michigan voters approving a constitutional amendment protecting abortion rights somehow amounts to "the sweeping disenfranchisement both of Michigan voters and of the authority of the legislature in the days and years ahead."

Michigan law allows constitutional amendments approved by voters to be included in the state constitution.

So Michigan Right To Life could pursue its own ballot initiatives to amend the state constitution if they chose to do it.

Ohio voters Tuesday approved enshrining abortion rights protection in its state constitution. It was the seventh statewide vote supporting abortion rights since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned federal abortion rights