Anti-abortion groups start drive to ban 2nd-trimester method

(Photo supplied/Right To Life)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan anti-abortion groups are launching their ballot drive to restrict a common second-trimester abortion procedure they say is “barbaric.”

Petitions went into circulation Wednesday.

They would prohibit what anti-abortion advocates call “dismemberment” abortions, known medically as dilation and evacuation. There’s an exception to protect a woman’s life.

The procedure, in which the fetus is removed in pieces with a surgical instrument, was used in 1,908, or 7.1%, of Michigan abortions in 2018.

If volunteers for Right to Life and churches collect 340,000 valid signatures within six months — which seems likely — the Republican-led Legislature could enact the ban despite Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s opposition.

Anti-abortion activists have successfully used the maneuver four times before.

Abortion-rights advocates say the restriction would handcuff doctors’ ability to provide safe care to patients.

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