Archbishop calls on Catholics to mobilize against 'deadly' abortion proposal, pray and support pro-life coalition's efforts
DETROIT — Catholics and people of goodwill must vote and fight against a “vast and extreme” ballot proposal in Michigan that would dramatically expand abortion in the state, Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron said in a Sept. 17 letter to the faithful of the Archdiocese of Detroit.
The “Reproductive Freedom for All” proposal, which will appear on the Nov. 8 general election ballot as Proposal 3, seeks to amend Michigan’s constitution to allow “unregulated abortion on demand through all nine months of pregnancy” and upend dozens of laws protecting women, minors, health care providers and victims of abortion, the archbishop said.
“The implications of this proposal are vast and extreme,” Archbishop Vigneron wrote. “If passed, the proposal’s vague wording would result in the elimination of dozens of Michigan laws relating to abortion, including laws prohibiting partial-birth abortion and taxpayer-funded abortion; laws requiring parental consent and informed consent for abortion; laws protecting the conscience rights of persons who refuse to participate in abortion, and more. The proposal would prohibit lawsuits from being brought against any individual for performing an abortion, even when complications result from the procedure.”
Archbishop Vigneron called the ballot question one of “paramount importance” for voters in the state of Michigan, and urged Catholics and others to fight the proposal, which is being funded primarily with out-of-state dollars and spearheaded by Planned Parenthood.
“Proposal 3 is not about protecting existing rights, but rather about revoking the right to life for an untold number of human beings,” the archbishop said. “This is a grave offense to the dignity and sanctity of unborn, innocent human life.”
Michigan currently has a law on the books dating to 1846 prohibiting abortion except in cases to save the mother’s life, but that law has been overruled by a Michigan Court of Claims judge. It is expected the case will be appealed and could end up before the Michigan Supreme Court.
Should Proposal 3 pass, the fate of Michigan’s pro-life laws would effectively be sealed, including laws prohibiting the gruesome partial-birth abortion procedure, as well as common-sense laws requiring abortions to be performed by doctors or requiring cleanliness standards for abortion clinics.
Catholics throughout the state have mobilized alongside pro-life leaders to defeat the proposal, with the Michigan Catholic Conference joining Michigan’s seven dioceses and Right to Life Michigan to form a coalition called Citizens to Support MI Women and Children, which aims to educate voters about the dangers of this “deadly proposal,” Archbishop Vigneron said.
The archbishop called on Catholics in the Archdiocese of Detroit to join efforts to defeat Proposal 3, specifically offering “three invitations to act” via prayer, voting and giving financial support to the coalition’s efforts.
“As advocates for the sanctity of life and truth, we always begin with prayer,” Archbishop Vigneron wrote. “Let us pray that our fellow Catholics and all people of goodwill will reject Proposal 3 in recognition of the danger it poses for women, children and their families.”
To assist in such prayer, the archbishop announced he will celebrate a Mass “in gratitude to the Sacred Heart of Jesus for the gift of all human life” at 11 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 2 — Respect Life Sunday — at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit. “I hope to see you there,” Archbishop Vigneron said.
Archbishop Vigneron called on Catholics to vote against Proposal 3, as well as to educate friends and family members about its “true nature” by learning about the amendment at supportmiwomenandchildren.org.
“To vote in favor of this proposal would be to actively participate in the promotion and expansion of the intrinsic moral evil of abortion,” the archbishop said.
While Catholics should pray and vote against Proposal 3, the archbishop encouraged those who are able to consider a financial contribution to amplify the coalition’s voice ahead of the Nov. 8 election.
“As members of a family of faith, we can spread awareness among Catholics, practicing or otherwise, and others about the true nature of Proposal 3 and its consequences for life, women, families and children,” Archbishop Vigneron said. “You can do this in part by discussing it with family, friends, and members of your community, but your reach will grow exponentially through your support of the statewide coalition dedicated to preventing this proposal from distorting our state constitution.”
Finally, Catholics must also support women in crisis pregnancies by providing the assistance they need to support themselves and their children, the archbishop said.
“That is why the pro-life office of the Archdiocese of Detroit is working with our parishes and Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan, the charitable arm of the archdiocese, to redouble efforts to provide assistance and resources to women and families across the region, especially through initiatives like Walking with Moms in Need,” Archbishop Vigneron said.
“We cannot create a world where abortion is unthinkable without also creating a world in which all families receive the support they need. This work of mercy is critical and continuous,” he added.
The archbishop urged Catholics to visit www.aod.org/prolife to learn more about the archdiocese’s pro-life efforts, as well as for resources on defeating Proposal 3.
“Please join me in praying that this destructive proposal is defeated, and that Catholics and others use their votes to uphold the right to life and inherent dignity of all people,” the archbishop said. “Let us always have confidence in Jesus Christ, who has triumphed over death and invites us to this work of accomplishing God’s will in our midst.”