If controversial measure passes, Michigan would become 'ground zero' for abortions 'anywhere, at any time, by any person'
DETROIT — In a letter mailed to all registered parishioners in the Archdiocese of Detroit, Detroit Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron again pleaded with Catholics in the six-county archdiocese to reject an extreme ballot proposal on abortion slated for Michigan’s Nov. 8 election.
The nearly unprecedented letter — sent via U.S. mail to hundreds of thousands of Catholic households in southeast Michigan — began arriving in mailboxes the week of Oct. 24.
Proposal 3, also known as the “Reproductive Freedom for All” constitutional amendment, would have “vast and extreme” consequences for Michigan if it passes, the archbishop said, turning the state into “ground zero” for abortion extremism in the United States.
Polls show the measure tightening, with support near 50% as the election nears.
“We are quickly approaching the November 8 election, during which voters in Michigan will decide on Proposal 3, an amendment to the state constitution that would allow unregulated abortion on-demand through all nine months of pregnancy,” the archbishop wrote. “It is the most extreme proposal concerning abortion this state or country has ever seen.”
The danger of Proposal 3, the archbishop and others have said, is that its intentionally vague language would invalidate virtually all other laws in the state intended to regulate abortion, turning the gruesome procedure into a sort of “super right” in the state’s constitution.
By transforming abortion into an “individual” right — as the language proposes — Proposal 3 would apply to all individuals in the state, including children, essentially stripping parents of the right to be involved in their child’s decision to seek an abortion, or even being informed of a minor's medical decisions at all.
“Proposal 3 seeks to enshrine the idea that the state is more important than the family,” Dr. Patrick Lappert, a board-certified surgeon, told Faith Catholic in a recent interview with the Diocese of Lansing. “The amendment asserts that the state somehow has more wisdom than the family that knows, and has loved, this child for all their life. That's a terrible idea. It's a terrible idea that must be rejected.”
The proposal would also end parental involvement in sterilization procedures and sex-change hormones for minors, Dr. Lappert said.
If passed, experts have predicted Michigan would become one of the nation’s preferred destinations for “abortion tourism,” given the broad license the proposal would grant to the abortion industry in the state.
“The implications of this proposal are vast and extreme,” Archbishop Vigneron wrote. “Due to its broad and vague language, Proposal 3 would invalidate dozens of existing laws related to abortion,” including allowing taxpayer-funded abortion, abortions based on a child’s sex, partial-birth abortion, and abortions performed by unqualified individuals.
“If passed, this proposal would transform Michigan into ground zero for abortions performed anywhere, at any time, by any person, for any reason,” the archbishop said.
As a constitutional amendment, ridding the state of the proposal’s weighty consequences would be especially cumbersome, if not impossible, should voters later feel buyer’s remorse.
“I don't think people realize just how serious the threat is to existing laws if Proposal 3 passes,” Marcia McBrien, interim president of the Catholic Lawyers Society of Metropolitan Detroit, told Detroit Catholic via email. “It's not scare-mongering to say that the parental consent requirement could be struck down under Proposal 3 — in fact, that seems to be the desired result.”
In a statement, the Catholic Lawyers Society of Metro Detroit said it joined Archbishop Vigneron’s opposition to Proposal 3, warning the proposal goes far further than supporters want to publicly admit.
“Those supporting Proposal 3 claim that it just returns Michigan to the days of Roe v. Wade, but as lawyers we see that it goes much father than that — it creates a new, vague, and potentially limitless set of ‘reproductive rights,’” the statement said. “And unlike laws passed by the state legislature, it would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to undo or amend Proposal 3 if it becomes part of the Michigan Constitution.”
It is imperative that Catholics and all people of goodwill to do everything they can to defeat the proposal while there’s still time, Archbishop Vigneron said.
“As disciples of Christ, we affirm the inherent, God-given dignity of every person, from conception to natural death. Abortion is a grave offense to the dignity of the most vulnerable person, the unborn child. We understand this as Catholics,” the archbishop said. “By voting No on Proposal 3, we build a foundation for a culture in which every human life is valued, and women and families readily receive the support they need to thrive.
“Together, our collective prayer and action — and our votes — can help ensure the defeat of this proposal, upholding the right to life and the inherent dignity of all people,” the archbishop added.
Learn about Proposal 3
To read the full text of Proposal 3, as well as learn more about how the proposal would impact various laws in Michigan, visit the Michigan Catholic Conference's Proposal 3 information page, or visit Support MI Women and Children to get involved.
For more on how the Archdiocese of Detroit is fighting Proposal 3, visit aod.org/prolife.
Pro-life Faithful citizenship Proposal 3