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Tim Skubick: Abortion insurance issue isn't going anywhere

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LANSING, Mich. (WJBK) -

Pro-Choice forces failed in their bid to block Right to Life on its proposal forcing women to purchase abortion insurance.  Both the House and Senate adopted the plan Wednesday and it takes effect next March. Story over? Not quite.

There could be a statewide petition drive to repeal the measure which Michigan Planned Parenthood lobbyist Meghan Groen discussed for the first time this week.

She believes a majority of voters oppose this and as for the repeal petition drive move, "It's something that we very much believe we could do and could win."

Let her, shoots back Ed Rivet who works the legislature for the other side.

"That's their option.  They won't have the grassroots network" which he figures will cost MPP several million dollars to pay for the signatures required to force another vote.

Meanwhile, deep behind the scenes, Republicans are trying to figure out the political implications of all this going into the 2014 election cycle.  There are real concerns about a repealer being on the ballot at the same time GOP lawmakers are there too.  Pro-choice women could turn out in droves and vote for the repealer and then turn around and vote against the Republicans who supported it.

"Women are watching.  Women will hold their legislators accountable for their actions in Lansing and quite frankly this is not something Michigan voters want to see the legislature focus on," contends Ms. Groen.

Just a second counters RTL lobbyist Genevieve Marnom.  "Many of our signatures (on their petition) were women and in fact there are quite a few pro-life women including me."  Hence she concludes the threat of a counter petition drive it a scare tactic.  "I believe it is."

One of the real winners in all this is the governor who seeks to stake out the middle ground with independent and moderate female voters.  He vetoed the original bill that RTL proposed because it did not include an exemption for rape and incest victims.  That is counter to what the anti-abortionists want.

Despite legislative approval, looks like this one is not going away anytime soon and may become an critical element in the upcoming election year.

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