Good morning. Today we pray the Joyful Mysteries. Meanwhile, the national media is increasingly become aware of what is currently happening in Michigan and just how extreme Proposal 3 actually is. For example, here’s a great article by New York-based writer, Madeleine Kearns, in the latest National Review entitled “Michigan Is Sleepwalking toward Abortion Extremism”. Read & share:
* “Michigan Is Sleepwalking toward Abortion Extremism” by Madeleine Kearns, National Review, October 9, 2022:
A majority of Michigan voters disagree with the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, according to recent polling. Still, the state’s constitutional amendment appearing on the ballot in November’s midterm election goes way beyond Roe and vastly exceeds most liberal countries in abortion permissiveness. If passed, Proposal 3 would effectively enshrine a right to abortion on demand up to birth, remove parental-consent requirements for minors seeking “reproductive care” (abortion, contraception, and sterilization), and prevent patients from filing malpractice lawsuits in the case of botched abortions.
When the Supreme Court overruled Roe in June, Michigan would have reverted to a 1931 pro-life law which protected all human life from conception, with exceptions only to save the life of the mother. But following the court leak of the Dobbs decision in May, Judge Elizabeth Gleicher — a former legal representative for Planned Parenthood who has contributed to the organization financially — preemptively rendered the law unenforceable through injunction.
The ability to get the proposal on the ballot was also facilitated by the leak. “In Michigan you only have a small window in order to collect the requisite number of signatures,” John Bursch, former solicitor general for Michigan, told National Review. “They were off to a terrible start. It didn’t look like they were going to get anywhere near the number of signatures. And the Dobbs draft opinion was leaked, then immediately Planned Parenthood poured millions of dollars into hiring additional . . . signature gatherers.” This, plus momentum from other grassroots abortion groups post-leak, took the total number of signatures to two-thirds of a million, roughly 300,000 more than they needed.
Abortion lobbyists are hoping they can ride the wave of post-Dobbs hysteria into the midterms. Democrats are also hopeful that having abortion on the ballot will increase voter turnout. Polling is showing strong support for Prop 3. But do those polled understand what they’re voting on?
First, consider the harm Prop 3 will do to patients seeking the newly defined “reproductive care.”
Prop 3’s opening statement reads: “Every individual has a fundamental right to reproductive freedom.” Not every woman. Nor even every adult. Every individual — no age specified. “Reproductive care,” meanwhile, includes not only a right to abortion but a right to contraception and sterilization as well. Under Prop 3, gender-confused minors could be subjected to puberty blockers, cross-sex drugs, and surgeries without parental consent or even notice.
Normally, patients are required to give informed consent to medical treatments and procedures. But, in Prop 3, this standard is lowered to “voluntary consent.” Worse, the state is prohibited from taking any “adverse action against someone for aiding or assisting a pregnant individual in exercising their right to reproductive freedom with their voluntary consent.” This could apply even to “someone” who is not a medical professional. As Bursch explains:
Ironically, this actually authorizes the very type of back-alley abortions that its supporters say it’s supposed to prevent. Most egregious, state action would include a state court judgment.
So, let’s say you have an abortion procedure and the abortionist acts with gross negligence, and they maim or even kill the mother as well as a child. And normally that person would be able to file a malpractice lawsuit. But because the state cannot take any “adverse action” against the person who assisted in the abortion, the malpractice lawsuit would almost certainly be barred — at least the abortionist would have a strong constitutional defense to that.
So not only is this through nine months of pregnancy, similar to the regimes in New York and California, but it allows non-medical people to participate in abortions, which no state does. It takes away medical malpractice lawsuits, which no state does. To say it’s extreme is really an understatement.
Second, under Prop 3, unborn children can be destroyed for any reason, up to the moment of birth.
In Roe, the “viability” standard was defined as the point at which a fetus “has the capability of meaningful life outside the mother’s womb.” But Prop 3 defines fetal viability as being when a medical professional deems the baby can survive outside the womb “without the application of extraordinary medical measures.” By this standard, every patient in a hospital NICU would qualify as an “unviable fetus” — even though, with help, most of these babies survive.
Indeed, only full-term and perfectly healthy unborn babies can meet Prop 3’s standard. But the amendment goes further still, by allowing abortions even in the case of full-term and perfectly healthy unborn babies. So long as “in the professional judgement of an attending health care professional [abortion] is medically indicated to protect the life or physical or mental health of the pregnant individual.” [emphasis added] In practice, all that’s needed to tick the “mental health” box is for a woman to express distress at continuing the pregnancy. This legal loophole is widely recognized to provide for abortion on demand which, in this case, could extend up to the moment of birth.
Third, consider how wide-reaching and absolute the provisions are. Under Roe and Casey, the “undue burden” standard proved compatible with a variety of pro-life laws from anti-discrimination laws based on race, sex, and disability to waiting periods and ultrasound requirements. But Prop 3 introduces a new standard of a “compelling state interest” with “the least restrictive means.” Moreover, the amendment defines the compelling state interest as being compelling only if it’s to protect the health of the individual seeking care, “consistent with accepted clinical standards of practice.” And who sets those clinical standards? Abortionists, of course.
Unfortunately, despite the extreme nature of Prop 3, Michigan’s Republican lawmakers have been notably quiet on the subject. Instead, many of them have left the fight to grassroots and religious organizations such as Right to Life Michigan and the Catholic Church. When the Democratic governor Gretchen Whitmer vowed to “fight like hell” to protect abortion rights, the Catholic Church vowed to “fight like heaven.” But hell hath more money, as well as more fury.
Republicans may feel reluctant to campaign on abortion opposition just weeks away from the midterms. But by remaining silent on Prop 3, they are neglecting a political opportunity as well as a moral duty. In this instance, it is Democrats, not Republicans, who are way ahead of public opinion. Prop 3 is dangerous and extreme. So why not warn voters? There is much more at stake here than congressional seats.
* Madeleine Kearns is a staff writer at National Review and a visiting fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum. To read more click here.