Prior to its passage earlier this month, Proposal 3—the ballot proposition to codify the right to an abortion in the Michigan’s constitution—had been labeled misleading or confusing by many groups in Michigan who were trying to sway people into voting against it.
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The official text of Proposal 3 (displayed at the end of this story) can be broken down into main issues, which include a) individual freedoms, b) the state’s role in abortions, and c) the prosecution of peoples regarding abortions.
Under the individual freedoms section of Proposal 3, every individual has the right to reproductive freedom. Individuals would have the right to make and carry out pregnancy-related decisions, which include:
- Prenatal care,
- Postpartum care,
- Miscarriage management, and
- Infertility care.
State’s role in abortions
Under Proposal 3, Michigan can still regulate abortions but only after the fetus is viable. The fetus is viable when there is a significant likelihood the fetus can survive outside the uterus without the application of extraordinary medical measures.
However, if the pregnant individual needed an abortion to protect their life, physical health, or mental health, the state cannot prohibit that abortion.
This judgment of fetus viability and patients’ health is based on the judgement of the attending healthcare professional and the facts of the case.
The prosecution of peoples regarding abortions
Under Proposal 3, the State cannot prosecute or take adverse action against anyone who had an abortion, miscarriage, or still birth. Additionally, the State cannot prosecute or take adverse action against anyone who aided or assisted a pregnant individual in their actions for an abortion, miscarriage, or still birth.
On November 8th, 2022, Proposal 3 passed with 2,480,000 “yes” votes (57%) and 1,897,417 “no” votes (43%). Accordingly, Article XXII Section 2 of the Michigan Constitution states that initiatives will take effect 45 days after passage. Therefore, Proposal 3 will take effect on December 23rd, 2022.
The following was the official language as it appeared on Michigan’s November 2022 ballot:
A proposal to amend the state constitution to establish new individual right to reproductive freedom, including right to make all decisions about pregnancy and abortion; allow state to regulate abortion in some cases; and forbid prosecution of individuals exercising established right.
This proposed constitutional amendment would:
- Establish new individual right to reproductive freedom, including right to make and carry out all decisions about pregnancy, such as prenatal care, childbirth, postpartum care, contraception, sterilization, abortion, miscarriage management, and infertility;
- Allow state to regulate abortion after fetal viability, but not prohibit if medically needed to protect a patient’s life or physical or mental health;
- Forbid state discrimination in enforcement of this right; prohibit prosecution of an individual, or a person helping a pregnant individual, for exercising rights established by this amendment;
- Invalidate state laws conflicting with this amendment.
Should this proposal be adopted?
[ ] YES
[ ] NO”