On Tuesday, November 8, Michigan voters will be asked to weigh in on numerous federal, state, and local races. As in many election years, citizens will also be asked to vote on a series of statewide ballot proposals seeking to implement policy changes via constitutional amendment.
While ballot proposals are typically listed last on an already lengthy ballot, they often have the largest impact on policy due to their relative permanence. Once an amendment to the Michigan Constitution is approved, any future changes to the language would require a three-fourths majority vote of the legislature. Three-fourths is a difficult threshold to surpass, a fact that should be kept in mind when voting ‘yes’ on any of the proposals – regardless of issue or intent.
To help inform voters, I decided to share the exact text of this year’s three proposals over the three columns leading up to Election Day – without any commentary other than what was stated above.
The column prior to last week covered Proposal 1 (Term Limits For State Legislators And Financial Disclosure Reports Of State Elected Officials). If you missed that column, or would like to read the House Fiscal Agency’s non-partisan analysis of its potential implications, please visit: https://tinyurl.com/Proposal2022-1.
Last week’s column covered Proposal 2 (Promote the Vote). If you missed that column, or would like to read the House Fiscal Agency’s non-partisan analysis of its potential implications, please visit: https://tinyurl.com/Proposal2022-2.
This week, I am concluding with the exact text of Proposal 3 (Reproductive Freedom For All). The full text of the section that the proposal would add to Article I of the state constitution is as follows:
Sec. 28. (1) Every individual has a fundamental right to reproductive freedom, which entails the right to make and effectuate decisions about all matters relating to pregnancy, including but not limited to prenatal care, childbirth, postpartum care, contraception, sterilization, abortion care, miscarriage management, and infertility care.
An individual’s right to reproductive freedom shall not be denied, burdened, nor infringed upon unless justified by a compelling state interest achieved by the least restrictive means.
Notwithstanding the above, the state may regulate the provision of abortion care after fetal viability, provided that in no circumstance shall the state prohibit an abortion that, in the professional judgment of an attending health care professional, is medically indicated to protect the life or physical or mental health of the pregnant individual.
(2) The state shall not discriminate in the protection or enforcement of this fundamental right.
(3) The state shall not penalize, prosecute, or otherwise take adverse action against an individual based on their actual, potential, perceived, or alleged pregnancy outcomes, including but not limited to miscarriage, stillbirth, or abortion. Nor shall the state 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.
(4) For the purposes of this section:
A state interest is “compelling” only if it is for the limited purpose of protecting the health of an individual seeking care, consistent with accepted clinical standards of practice and evidence-based medicine, and does not infringe on that individual’s autonomous decision-making.
“Fetal viability” means: the point in pregnancy when, in the professional judgment of an attending health care professional and based on the particular facts of the case, there is a significant likelihood of the fetus’s sustained survival outside the uterus without the application of extraordinary medical measures.
(5) This section shall be self-executing. Any provision of this section held invalid shall be severable from the remaining portions of this section.
Those who wish to read the House Fiscal Agency’s non-partisan analysis of Proposal 3 may visit https://tinyurl.com/Proposal2022-3.
Thank you for taking the time to read these proposals in their entirety and for exercising your right to vote this coming Tuesday. I’ll be sure to share election results for Southwest Michigan in my write-up for next week.