Man to stand trial in shooting of anti-abortion canvasser

Oct 19, 2022, 4:05 AM | Updated: 4:07 pm

ODESSA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A western Michigan man has been ordered to stand trial in the shooting of an 84-year-old woman who was canvassing door to door against a proposed constitutional amendment that would guarantee the right to abortion in the state.

A judge issued the ruling Wednesday against Richard Harvey, 74, who is charged with assault and careless discharge of a weapon, WOOD-TV reported.

Joan Jacobson was shot Sept. 20 at Harvey’s home in Odessa Township, a community about 130 miles (210 kilometers) northwest of Detroit. Jacobson told investigators that she was asking a woman at the home to vote against Proposal 3 in November when she was told to leave.

Jacobson said she felt pain, drove to a local police station and was later treated at a hospital for a gunshot wound to her shoulder.

Harvey told WOOD-TV that he shot Jacobson accidentally with a .22-caliber rifle while she was arguing with his wife and waving a clipboard. He said he told Jacobson numerous times to leave their property.

Jacobson, a longtime volunteer for Right to Life of Michigan, said she never waved her clipboard.

Abortion rights would be constitutionally guaranteed in Michigan if Proposal 3 passes on Nov. 8. A 1931 state law makes it a crime to perform most abortions, but the law was suspended in May and a judge this week struck it down as unconstitutional.

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Man to stand trial in shooting of anti-abortion canvasser