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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Doctors are on the frontlines of a political battle raging across the country, as abortion rights are added to the ballot in the first election since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. Michigan is at the heart of the struggle.

“Doctors fought hard for these rights because we’re sick of watching women die,” Melissa Bayne, an OB-GYN in Fremont, Mich., told the audience at a rally Saturday in Grand Rapids. Her voice shook as she told the stories of patients who’ve died from pregnancy complications. The risks of forcing rape victims to carry their attacker’s child are all too real, she said: “As much as I don’t want patients or you to go through this, they do and have. Every day, I see women who’ve had consent stolen from them. Every day.”


For decades, Roe v. Wade blocked a 1931 law that banned abortion in nearly all circumstances in Michigan. With the Dobbs decision, the state is at risk of reversing close to a century’s worth of abortion rights. State courts have held it off so far, but Michigan’s Republican House and Senate have shown interest in bringing an appeal to the Supreme Court. On Tuesday, Michiganders will on Proposition 3, which would enshrine abortion access in the state constitution, permanently protecting abortion rights. It is one of five states, alongside California, Vermont, Kentucky, and Montana that will vote on an abortion bill in the midterms.

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