On Wednesday morning, dozens of Planned Parenthood supporters, dressed in pink shirts, packed into a Board of Canvassers meeting to oppose the pending petition drive.
"This is something where we really have a small number of people in the legislature trying to determine what the private marketplace can offer," said Meghan Groen from Planned Parenthood of Michigan.
Right to Life of Michigan wants abortion coverage to become an optional rider that women will have to purchase with their insurance policy, as opposed to having the coverage as part of insurance companies' basic policies. A bill with similar elements was passed during last year's lame duck session and later vetoed by Gov. Snyder. If Right to Life collects at least 258,088 valid signatures, the legislature can make it law without a signature from the governor.
According to Right to Life, the goal is to save taxpayer dollars once some insurance plans become subsidized under the federal Affordable Care Act and when asked about not providing an exemption for cases of rape, the president of the group says it's like purchasing any other kind of insurance policy.
"Nobody plans to have an accident, a car accident, nobody plans to have their homes flooded and you have to buy extra insurance for those things too," said Barbara Listing, president of Right to Life of Michigan.
"This is appalling, rape is not anywhere near in the field of a flood, or a car accident because rape is not an accident. Nobody can anticipate being the victim of a crime," said Jessica Tramontana, communications director of Progress Michigan.
Progress Michigan is now calling for an apology, while supporters of the initiative are ready to collect signatures by early June.