The lobbyist for the Michigan ACLU woke up at 3 a.m. the other morning wondering what was wrong with this picture. Just hours before on the house floor, out of nowhere, a bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks just disappeared.
The civil rights group, along with other pro-choice organizations, was braced to lose the vote when it came up. But it never did and the lobbyist was losing sleep trying to figure out what really happened.
She and others may be shocked to find out what really happened is the governor, who calls himself "pro-life" privately sent word that he would not support the 20-week provision. Notice that he did it without fanfare, no news conference, no nothing accept sending word he was not on board.
That cheer you just heard was from the pro-choice folks who have been patiently waiting for the governor to show some sign that he would stand up to the pro-abortion forces, which are mighty, in the house and senate.
As it turns out the Michigan Right to Life lobby was fully aware that that bill was not on the governor's agenda, as he likes to say, so RTL did not recommend it as part of a package of anti-abortion bills. There was no sense going there, if he would not ride along.
However, somebody in the House GOP caucus wanted to move the bill. Maybe that somebody didn't know the governor's stance or maybe that somebody was just testing the governor to see what he would do.
Either way, instead of passing the measure, Republicans acquiesced to the governor's position and quietly buried the bill.
Now the ACLU lobbyist can go back to sleep and wonder is this a blip or a trend? Only the governor knows for sure but the pro-choice contingency is hoping it's the latter and not the former.