Advance Notice: Briefs

Dixon appears to make the case that voters can support her and abortion rights ballot measure in Nov.

By: - September 9, 2022 2:38 pm

Republican nominee for Michigan governor Tudor Dixon campaigns in Lansing on Aug. 27, 2022. | Allison R. Donahue

Updated, 6:16 p.m. with comments from Right to Life of Michigan PAC

In a Thursday night tweet following the Michigan Supreme Court ruling that voters will be able to decide a measure guaranteeing abortion rights, GOP gubernatorial nominee Tudor Dixon appeared to encourage Michiganders to vote for both Proposal 3 and her in November — even though Dixon strongly opposes abortion.

“And just like that you can vote for [Democratic Gov.] Gretchen Whitmer’s abortion agenda & still vote against her,” Dixon wrote in response to the ruling. “Gretchen, time to stop hiding behind your BS ads.”

The Reproductive Freedom for All (RFFA) ballot proposal was approved unanimously by the Board of State Canvassers on Friday after the state’s highest court compelled the body to do so. Proposal 3, which would put reproductive rights access on the Michigan Constitution, will be up before voters in November.

Right to Life of Michigan, the state’s influential anti-abortion advocacy group that endorsed Dixon and opposes Proposal 3, stood by Dixon.

“It is the expectation that RLM PAC endorsed candidates will be resolute in the defense of life and educate voters on the nightmarish consequences of the anything-goes abortion amendment. Tudor Dixon has not wavered on her prolife position,” said Emily Kroll, Right to Life of Michigan PAC director.

The group has reserved $16 million in ads through November, per the Washington Post.

A spokesperson for RFFA did not immediately return a request for comment.

The tweet caused some confusion, as Dixon supports banning abortion and has made the issue a cornerstone of her campaign. She opposes access to abortion even in cases of incest, rape and to protect the health of the mother. In an interview last month, Dixon said that she doesn’t support an exception for rape victims because there’s “healing through the baby.”

Put Michigan First, a group connected to the Democratic Governors Association, has run several ads blasting Dixon on abortion.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks at the Michigan Democratic Party’s nominating convention in Lansing on Aug. 21, 2022. (Andrew Roth | Michigan Advance)

Whitmer is a longtime backer of reproductive rights and has repeatedly promised to “fight like hell” for access to abortion services. Her lawsuit that attempts to topple Michigan’s 1931 law criminalizing abortion is ongoing.

Polling shows a majority of Michiganders support legal abortion.

After a Crain’s Detroit reporter summarized Dixon’s tweet, surmising that Dixon is “trying to peel off some pro-abortion rights voters who support the ballot initiative to vote for her,” Dixon hit back at the media and said: “Let me know when you all want to do your job.

“I’m up for a real interview about issues the next Governor will actually impact whenever the press cares to do it’s [sic] job & tell the truth. Whitmer destroyed lives & livelihoods yet none of you silver spoon blue check marks care,” Dixon tweeted from her verified account.

Reporters from several Michigan outlets, including the Advance, responded to Dixon’s tweet that they were interested in interviewing her.

The Advance also reached out to the Dixon campaign for the story and did not get a response.


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Laina G. Stebbins
Laina G. Stebbins

Laina G. Stebbins is a former Michigan Advance reporter. A lifelong Michigander, she is a graduate of Michigan State University’s School of Journalism, where she served as Founding Editor of The Tab Michigan State and as a reporter for the Capital News Service.