Translating the indefensible: The moral imperative to defeat Proposal 3

Literature encouraging Catholics to vote "no" on Proposal 3, the so-called "Reproductive Freedom for All" amendment, is displayed at a "Rising Up After Roe" event Sept. 13 at Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish in Plymouth. (Dan Meloy | Detroit Catholic)

This article is for Michiganders who want the best for their family, their state, and their nation. The text of Proposal 3 is likely to confuse many people of goodwill, and so it is vitally important that you truly understand this proposal.

I am not exaggerating when I tell you that it is the most radical, evil piece of legislation I have seen in my lifetime. It would legalize the killing of unborn children, which is known as “abortion” or “pregnancy termination,” through all nine months of pregnancy, reinstitute the failed policy approach of decades of abortion policy struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in its Dobbs decision, annihilate important parental rights over the health and safety of their children, and provide legal immunity for those who use abortion to cover up their legal and moral crimes.

Michigan has a law on the books from 1931 that protects unborn children from abortion. Previously, this law was blocked by the activism of the U.S. Supreme Court, which invented a federal right to abortion. The Dobbs decision returned power to Michigan to legislate on abortion and protect unborn children after nearly 50 years of our state being unable to defend innocent, unborn babies. But because of lawsuits from Planned Parenthood and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, that law was blocked from going into effect. Now, Proposal 3 is trying to permanently erase not only the 1931 law that protects children, but also every other law that protects innocent children from being killed in the state of Michigan.

The easiest way to educate the public on this issue is to translate the deceptive language used in the proposal into what the proposal actually means for you and your family. I hope you will see then why no one of goodwill could possibly support this tragic and insane legislation.

  • Constitutional Amendment to: establish new individual right to reproductive freedom (Proposal 3)

What, you may ask, is the “individual right to reproductive freedom”? Basically, it is the right to do whatever you want with your body and with the body of any unborn child in your womb. Very simply, there is no such right. The freedom to have conjugal relations carries with it a moral responsibility to care for any child that results from that union. Rights and responsibilities go together.

  • 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

This proposal has nothing to do with prenatal care, childbirth, or postpartum care. There are no laws that restrict these services that are in need of correction. This is simply a prelude to the real purpose of Proposal 3: the advancement of sterilization and abortion at any cost. Notice that the proposal alleges an “individual right” to sterilization and abortion, so even a child who is vulnerable and not fully mature could presumably make a life-altering decision such as abortion or undergo gender-suppressing therapies that make the child infertile without parental consent or even knowledge. Imagine being a parent and having your child change their entire life without your knowledge. There is nothing progressive or visionary about this proposal. It is simply a recipe for family tragedy and more broken relationships.

  • Allow state to prohibit abortion after fetal viability

This is simply disingenuous. The state of Michigan already had the authority to prohibit abortion. Rather than telling you that pre-viability abortions will be legal by voting for this proposal, voters are led to believe that Proposal 3 actually prohibits abortion in circumstances where it would otherwise be legal, which is false, because Michigan already has a 1931 law on the books which prohibits abortion. This language is clearly meant to deceive and confuse the public.

  • Unless needed to protect a patient’s life or physical or mental health

Hospitals and health care facilities are already obligated to provide care to pregnant women. This language is meant to scare people into advancing abortion under the pretense that women’s lives are in jeopardy. Actually, abortion itself is a risk to the physical, mental, and spiritual health of women, as countless studies have documented. Furthermore, the exception for “mental health” effectively means all abortions are legal for any reason. Ask yourself: how many of you were not stressed out taking care of your young children? Do you really think killing an unborn child is the solution to the normal anxieties of parenthood, or should we put more resources into supporting families in need?

  • Forbid state discrimination in enforcement of this right

Let’s be clear: “State discrimination in enforcement of this right” means that doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals who cannot in good conscience kill unborn children in the womb or mutilate a perfectly healthy body could be fired, penalized, or even have their medical license revoked for failure to abide by a mythical right to “reproductive freedom” that does not actually exist in reality. The truth is that many great doctors would rather stop practicing medicine than be complicit in child-killing or the mutilation of a healthy body. Do we really want to drive good doctors out of health care?

  • Prohibit prosecution of an individual or a person helping a pregnant individual, for exercising rights established by this amendment

To add insult to injury, this section effectively allows those who commit legal and moral crimes such as sex trafficking to cover up their crimes through abortion without being prosecuted to the full extent of the law. This language is a dream come true for criminals and those who seek to exploit others.

  • And invalidate all state laws that conflict with this amendment

This means that every single state law that protects unborn children in Michigan would be struck down. Michigan would become the bastion of abortion and people would likely travel to Michigan from other states to kill their children. Do you really want your state to be known for child killing (abortion tourism)?

It should then be abundantly clear that Proposal 3 is deceptively worded, radical beyond belief, totally unnecessary, and injurious to the health, safety, and quite frankly, eternal salvation of Michiganders. Do the right thing and stand up strong: Vote “No” on Proposal 3.

Michael Arthur Vacca is director of ministry, bioethics, and membership experience for the Christ Medicus Foundation and a certified spiritual director and Catholic bioethicist.


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