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Michigan bishops warn against “extreme” measure on November ballot

ABORTION RIGHTS

Saul Loeb | AFP

J-P Mauro - published on 10/18/22

Critics of Proposal 3 are drawing attention to the measure’s poor wording that would allow for dismissal of many abortion regulations.

As Michigan prepares to put its state policy on abortion to a vote, Catholic leaders are calling the measure “extreme” in its proposals. Furthermore, critics of the measure are calling attention to poor phrasing that leaves abortion regulation in question and could confuse voters. 

Bishops’ letter

In an open letter, the bishops of the Michigan Catholic Conference drew attention to the many changes to policies that regulate abortion practices in the state. Proposal 3, which seeks to amend the Michigan state constitution, would remove the requirement of parental notification; repeal health and safety standards for abortion clinics and the requirement for such facilities to be licensed; remove requirements for a medical professional to conduct abortion procedures; allow late-term abortions; and redefine the point of fetal viability. 

The bishops went on to warn that the measure would also extend the “right of sterilization” to any individual regardless of age. This in turn could open the door for minors to seek gender transitioning procedures without the requirement of parental notification. The bishops wrote: 

“Let us be clear: If Proposal 3 passes, there would be no real limits on abortion or sterilization procedures in Michigan, outside of an individual’s voluntary consent. And no matter how one feels about abortion, this proposed amendment goes well beyond what was allowed under Roe vs. Wade

“The proposal would also change our state constitution, which is much more consequential than any law. We urge you to read the proposed amendment and focus on the language. Words matter, particularly as they relate to constitutional amendments.”

The prelates went on to urge their flocks to vote no on Proposal 3, directing them to the Michigan Catholic Conference website. There, they offer a list of resources, including their letter, the official text of Proposal 3, and an analysis that seeks to explain its dubious wording. 

They have dubbed their campaign against Proposal 3, “Fight Like Heaven.” According to CNS, this name comes in direct contrast to the promise of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to “fight like hell” for abortion rights in the state. The Michigan Catholic Conference has asked for all Catholics to direct their continued prayers to the Great Lake State as the November vote approaches.

Misleading

In support of the “No on Proposal 3” campaign, obstetrician and gynecologist Dr. Catherine Stark appeared in a brief video that brings attention to the poor wording of Proposal 3. She noted that the measure may strip away several laws that exist to ensure the “health and safety of women.” She reiterated several concerns that were voiced by the bishops and similarly urged Michigan voters to turn down the proposal. 

Tags:
AbortionCatholicPro-lifeUnited States
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