How Prop 3 would change Michigan's abortion laws
If approved, Proposal 3 would rid Michigan of a near-century-old abortion ban and enshrine the right of residents to make their own pregnancy decisions into the state Constitution.
- If voters reject the proposal on Nov. 8, laws surrounding the controversial procedure would be decided by state courts and lawmakers.
Why it matters: While Michigan's 1931 law criminalizing abortions — which was superseded by Roe v. Wade in 1973— was struck down by an Oakland County judge last month, an appeal by the Republican-majority Legislature is still possible.
- The ballot measure doesn't just establish Michiganders' right to make decisions regarding abortions, but to all decisions related to pregnancy, including contraception, miscarriage management and postpartum care.
What they're saying: Prop 3, known as Reproductive Freedom for All, is framing the measure as a middle-ground solution, but opponents say it goes far beyond what was legal before the fall of Roe v. Wade.
- Genevieve Marnon, the legislative director for Right to Life of Michigan, tells Axios that, "Voters should realize that the other side is saying this will restore Roe; this goes so far beyond Roe, people have no idea," Marnon says the proposal is "vague, far-reaching and undefined."
The other side: "We know they want to ban abortion in almost every circumstance, and this effort is really a fearmongering, diversion tactic," Darci McConnell, a spokesperson for the ballot proposal coalition, tells Axios. McConnell says opponents are deliberately misrepresenting the proposal to mislead voters.
Between the lines: Right to Life and other opponents of Prop 3 argue the most damaging effect of the measure is that it would allow minors to get abortions without parental permission. But Steve Liedel, an attorney for the ballot group, tells Axios that isn't true.
- Current state law requires minors to obtain consent from parents or guardians, unless waived by a judge, before undergoing an abortion procedure.
- Opponents also claim the proposal would give anyone considered to be a health care professional the ability to perform an abortion, which Liedel also says is untrue.
- "There are a number of claims being made by opponents of proposals that are outright lies," Liedel says."Other of them, they would rather distort the truth than provide the truth."
Of note: The proposal also gives the state the authority to regulate the provision of abortion care after fetal viability, provided it doesn't prohibit an abortion that a healthcare professional deems necessary to protect the health of the mother.
- Marnon points to the clause allowing health care providers to determine whether the health of the mother is at risk to argue that the proposal doesn't actually allow the state to regulate the procedure after fetal viability, a definition she says is up for debate.
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