Michigan's Catholic Bishops "...emphatically urge a NO vote on Proposal 3 and strongly urge you to tell every person you know that this amendment goes too far..."

Release from the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Michigan: VOTE NO ON PROPOSAL 3
In the span of this election, Michigan could go from a state with laws protecting the unborn and vulnerable women from abortion to a state that permanently guarantees unlimited, unregulated abortion.
Proposal 3 goes far beyond just keeping abortion legal or reinstating the now overturned Roe v. Wade decision.
It would allow abortions to be performed by anyone, at any point in pregnancy, and for any reason. It would throw away state laws regulating quality, safety, and inspections for abortion clinics. It would remove parental consent requirement for teens seeking abortions, and also teens seeking gender reassignment surgeries.
Proposal 3 would move Michigan far from a society where human life is welcomed and where mothers do not have to turn to abortion. Voters must reject this extreme proposal and allow our state to build a culture that values all human life by supporting existing efforts led by pregnancy centers and Catholic Charities agencies to assist mothers in need.
As Catholics, we believe every person has a right to life, which is the fundamental right that makes all other rights possible. Abortion is a “preeminent” threat to the dignity of human life because it is a direct attack on life itself, “the most fundamental good and the condition for all others.”
Already, millions of dollars are pouring into Michigan to get Proposal 3 passed, as this measure is seen by many across the country as a trial run for similar efforts to expand abortion in other states.
As Catholics who stand for the dignity of all human life from conception to natural death, it is time to come together and defeat this dangerous proposal. The Catholic bishops of Michigan emphatically urge a NO vote on Proposal 3 and strongly urge you to tell every person you know that this amendment goes too far on abortion, and to vote NO.
This issue of focus will explain what Proposal 3 would do and why it is dangerous for Michigan. It will empower you to talk with your friends and family about why this amendment must be defeated.
In addition to upholding the dignity of human life, there are several other principles based in Catholic social teaching to consider when voting. This edition of focus will also equip Catholics with the principles rooted in the Church’s rich teachings on social justice that are helpful to making a well-informed vote on the entire general election ballot. ■
What You Need to Know About Proposal 3
How would this change Michigan’s abortion law? Michigan’s existing pre-Roe law prohibits abortion except to save the mother’s life, in addition to numerous other laws that regulate abortion. Under this amendment, all those laws would be revoked, and it would be nearly impossible for the Legislature to pass any laws to regulate abortion and protect women and children.
Why is this amendment being proposed? This proposal was launched in anticipation that the U.S. Supreme Court would strike down Roe. The Supreme Court ruling allowed abortion regulation to return to individual state legislatures to decide, yet this amendment would take that power away from the Legislature by locking unlimited abortion access into the state constitution.
How would passing this amendment compare to when Roe v. Wade was in effect? This amendment would take Michigan far beyond what was allowed for abortion under Roe. In the half century since Roe, dozens of laws have been passed to regulate abortion. Under this amendment, those protections would be gone, and abortion would be unrestricted and unregulated.
How late into pregnancy would an abortion be allowed under this amendment? The amendment would allow for abortions all throughout pregnancy. The amendment appears to allow a ban on late-term abortions, but provides an exception based on the mother’s physical and mental health. That means a late-term abortion could be justified for almost any reason.
How would Michigan compare to other states if this amendment passed? According to the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, Michigan is one of 36 states that require parental involvement in their child’s decision to have an abortion, one of 32 states requiring abortions be performed by a licensed physician, and one of 43 states that prohibit abortion after a specified point in pregnancy.
Under Proposal 3, Michigan would no longer require parental consent, that physicians perform abortions, or a limit to when an abortion can happen in a pregnancy, putting Michigan in the minority of states in all three categories. ■
Because Proposal 3 seeks to create a constitutional “right” to “reproductive freedom,” this amendment could have negative implications for dozens of state laws protecting life and regulating abortion.
Below are examples of laws that could be revoked or limited if Proposal 3 were to pass:
Increased penalties for later term abortions when babies are fully formed.
Law requiring babies born alive during an abortion be protected and cared for.
Conscience rights of hospitals and doctors who decline to take unborn human life.
Ban on taxpayer-funded Medicaid dollars to pay for abortions.
Ban on school employees from helping a child obtain an abortion.
Informed consent provisions for an abortion, such as a 24-hour waiting period, information on fetal development and abortion procedures, and ultrasound viewing.
Respectful disposal of fetal remains.
“Let’s not pretend that this constitutional amendment is simply about creating a so-called right to an abortion. It goes much, much farther than that.”
John Bursch
Former Michigan Solicitor General
Responding to Arguments Made for Proposal 3

The following are examples of what supporters may say about the abortion amendment. Study these responses so that you can help your family and friends better understand the consequences of this proposal.
THEY SAY This amendment ensures women will not be prosecuted for having a miscarriage/abortion.
WE RESPOND There is no history of women being prosecuted in Michigan for either of those circumstances. In addition, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled in 1963 that a woman receiving an abortion is not guilty and cannot be charged. State law also explicitly defines abortion as not including miscarriage.
THEY SAY This amendment stops the government from prosecuting women who experience miscarriages or ectopic pregnancies.
WE RESPOND Abortion is an intentional act to destroy a life, while a miscarriage is a spontaneous action within a woman’s body. An ectopic pregnancy is when a fertilized egg implants outside the uterus, where it cannot survive. A woman receiving treatment for an ectopic pregnancy or suffering a miscarriage is not the same as choosing to undergo an abortion. Both state law and the Michigan Supreme Court are clear that women rightfully cannot be prosecuted for an abortion.
THEY SAY Michigan residents should have the constitutional right to abortion care and reproductive freedom.
WE RESPOND Women already have the right to reproductive care in the state of Michigan. Women have access to prenatal, postpartum, and infertility care. Pregnancy help centers provide support and referrals for women unable to see a doctor.
Abortion is not reproductive care as it harms women mentally and physically and guarantees that out of the two patients involved, one will die. Abortion is never medically necessary to help save the life of a mother.
THEY SAY Decisions on abortion should remain between a woman and her doctor.
WE RESPOND With this amendment, nonphysicians would be able to conduct abortions, undermining the notion that women would be making these decisions with the help of an appropriately licensed physician.
The amendment would block the state from prohibiting abortions in cases where “in the professional judgment of an attending health care professional,” the abortion “is medically indicated to protect the life or physical or mental health of the pregnant individual.”
Under Michigan law, “health care professional” means more than just a physician, as that definition also includes dentists, chiropractors, massage therapists, acupuncturists, counselors, and psychologists, to name a few examples.
The language also says the state could not “penalize, prosecute, or otherwise take adverse action against someone for aiding or assisting a pregnant individual in exercising their right to reproductive freedom with their voluntary consent.”
Because of that, a school counselor, for example, could take a 13-year-old girl to get an abortion, contraception, or undergo sterilization without telling her parents, and there is nothing her parents could legally do, if they ever found out.
THEY SAY This amendment allows for women to have autonomy over their own bodies.
WE RESPOND A pregnant woman carries inside her a human life that deserves the same dignity that she should be afforded. If a woman becomes pregnant unexpectedly or unwillingly and she feels she is unable or unwilling to parent her child, there are options to ensure the baby is safe and cared for through the state’s adoption process or the Safe Delivery Law, which allows mothers to surrender their newborns for adoption, no questions asked.
THEY SAY This amendment still allows for restricting late-term abortions.
WE RESPOND The amendment creates broad exceptions to any ban enacted on late-term abortions, including for reasons related to mental health. Any pregnant woman could claim not getting a late-term abortion would cause her anxiety or stress, so essentially no abortion would be restricted.
THEY SAY This amendment still allows the state to restrict/regulate abortion after viability.
WE RESPOND This amendment changes the definition of fetal viability to no longer mean when the baby can survive outside the womb, instead defining it as when a baby can survive outside of the womb without “extraordinary medical measures.”
This means that a prematurely born infant who needs intensive medical treatment could be considered not viable in the eyes of the mother and the “healthcare professional,” who does not have to be a licensed physician under the language provided in the amendment.
THEY SAY Over 700,000 Michiganders signed this proposal to put it on the ballot, which shows how widely supported it is.
WE RESPOND Paid petition gatherers are not legally required to tell people everything that a proposal would do. Thus, it is likely that most people who signed the petition did not read the proposal or understand the reality of what they were signing. People from various backgrounds, including those who say they are pro-choice, overwhelmingly oppose partial-birth abortion and support health and safety regulations on abortion clinics. This proposal would give constitutional protections to third-trimester abortions up to birth and likely revoke state law that requires abortion facilities to be licensed and inspected.