3 States have pro-choice ballot initiatives, while 2 concern laws that would protect the unborn.
On the first general election day since the U.S. Supreme Court sent the question of abortion’s legality back to the individual states, five U.S. states have ballot initiatives about the procedure. Three of the initiatives seek to expand abortion rights, one seeks to protect babies born after a failed abortion, and one seeks to prohibit elective abortions.
The Michigan Catholic Conference is urging a no vote on Proposal 3, which asks voters whether “reproductive freedom” belongs in the Michigan Constitution.
“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,” the conference warned. It said that Proposal 3 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,” a conference statement explained. “It would remove parental consent requirement for teens seeking abortions, and also teens seeking gender reassignment surgeries.”
Proposal 3, also known as the “Reproductive Freedom for All” constitutional amendment, would have “vast and extreme” consequences for Michigan if it passes, said Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron of Detroit, in a letter to all registered parishioners. The proposal would turn the state into “ground zero” for abortion extremism in the United States, he added.
In an October 10 letter to the faithful, the bishops of the state wrote, “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.”
California voters will consider Proposition 1, which could add an amendment to the California Constitution stating, “The state shall not deny or interfere with an individual’s reproductive freedom in their most intimate decisions, which includes their fundamental right to choose to have an abortion and their fundamental right to choose or refuse contraceptives.”
“Every human life, including unborn human life, is unique and unrepeatable, a person with inherent dignity and an eternal destiny,” the California Catholic Conference says. “The intentional taking of any innocent human life is a grave moral evil, and people of faith and goodwill have an obligation to protect human life and oppose all attacks against human life and dignity.”
The conference warns that a new constitutional amendment would “permanently expand and vastly increase abortions in our state, without doing anything to give vulnerable women a real choice.”
Proposition 1 would “enshrine the explicit right to abortion in our state constitution,” the conference says. “It’s also the first time ever that CA voters are being asked to vote for unrestricted late term abortion, ending any real chance for California to protect unborn life in future laws.”
In Vermont, Proposal 5 would add an amendment to the state’s constitution saying “that an individual’s right to personal reproductive autonomy is central to the liberty and dignity to determine one’s own life course and shall not be denied or infringed unless justified by a compelling State interest achieved by the least restrictive means.”
Vermont Right to Life says that the amendment “strips any opportunity for future legislatures to legally protect an unborn baby at any time throughout all nine months of pregnancy.”
The organization also said Proposal 5 would shield abortion businesses from state oversight or regulation.
Montana has a ballot initiative, LR-131, that would protect infants who are born alive after an attempted abortion, an induced labor, a c-section, or another method to receive medical care.
“This coming November, Montana voters will have an opportunity to stand up for some of the most defenseless and vulnerable members of the human family – infants born alive following an abortion,” said the state’s Catholic bishops.
They explained that the Montana Act would be similar to a federal law passed by Congress in 2002, legally recognizing that a newborn, regardless of the circumstances of his or her birth, is to be legally recognized as a person from the moment of birth if the infant shows any sign of life. The federal law, however, did not provide specific measures for enforcing protection of such infants. LR-131, the bishops said “will help to rectify this omission.”
In Kentucky, voters will decide on Constitutional Amendment 2, which says that nothing in the state constitution gives citizens the right to an abortion.
The Catholic Conference of Kentucky asked voters to “prayerfully consider and vote ‘YES for Life’ … by supporting Amendment #2.”
“This proposed constitutional amendment is very simple and will prevent our state courts from ever issuing a decision like Roe v. Wade,” the conference says. “It adds one sentence to the Kentucky Constitution: ‘To protect human life, nothing in this Constitution shall be construed to secure or protect a right to abortion or require the funding of abortion.’”