LANSING, Mich. -- Gov. William G. Milliken vetoed a bill Friday banning welfare abortions in Michigan, challenging lawmakers to a showdown that could resolve the more than two-year-old confrontation on the emotional issue.
The veto -- which was expected -- was the eighth Milliken has cast in the running battle over welfare abortions since Aug. 3, 1978.
For the first time, however, legislative foes of abortion will attempt an override -- a rarely used move that would require a two-thirds vote in both houses. The vote will come next week.
Prospects for the override are seen as very good in the Senate and somewhat mixed in the House. If successful, it would be only the second override in nearly three decades.
Milliken contends poor women should not be denied abortions because they cannot afford them and has moved consistently to support that position.
Abortion opponents had not previously sought to attempt a veto override, in part because they pinned their hopes on a court suit challenging Milliken's vetoes as unconstitutional.
They lost that fight last spring when a sharply divided Michigan Supreme Court refused to hear a Michigan Appeals Court ruling backing the governor.