a constitutional right to reproductive care

  • Michigan’s Proposition 3 would make pregnancy decisions a state constitutional right.
  • Supporters say the measure would protect access to abortions and medical personnel who perform abortions.
  • Opponents say it would repeal other abortion restrictions in state law.

A “yes” vote on Michigan’s Proposition 3 would amend the state constitution to add an individual right to reproductive freedom, which includes abortion.

Ballot measure details

Proposition 3, also known as the Reproductive Freedom for All measure, would establish the right to reproductive health care, including pregnancy, contraception, sterilization, abortion and miscarriage management.

It would also protect those who perform reproductive-related procedures and care, including abortion providers, from prosecution and invalidate any state laws that limit access to that care.

Currently, Michigan’s restrictions on abortion access include parental consent for minors and waiting periods for abortions, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

Proposition 3 would continue to support a state law restricting abortions beyond the point of fetal viability, between 24 and 28 weeks’ gestation, with exceptions for the health of the patient.

A petition to bring the measure to voters this November garnered 700,000 signatures, and the state Supreme Court upheld Proposition 3 in July, weeks after the draft Supreme Court opinion on national abortion rights was leaked.

Other states voting to add anti-abortion protections to their constitutions include California and Vermont

Support and opposition

Supporters of Proposition 3 include Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, the ACLU of Michigan, Planned Parenthood and the Center for Reproductive Rights.

Advocates say the constitutional amendment is necessary to affirm the right to abortion and to invalidate a 1931 state law that outlaws abortion and threatens abortion providers with up to 15 years in prison.

In September, a claims court judge issued a permanent injunction to enforce the law.

No on Prop 3 includes a coalition of pro-life and religious organizations. They oppose the proposal because it would strike down laws on the books that restrict abortion, including parental consent laws.

What the experts say

As of late September, about 62 percent of Michigan voters said they would vote yes on Proposition 3, 24 percent said they would vote no and 14 percent were unsure, according to a poll by the Detroit News.

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