The ‘Right to Reproductive Freedom Initiative’ Would Endanger Michigan Women, Not Empower Them
By Dean Nelson and Monica Sparks
The “Right to Reproductive Freedom Initiative” (Proposal 3) is a misnomer, and the propaganda campaign in its favor is a web of lies. It is the most radical abortion proposal this country has ever seen.
Prop 3 isn’t about establishing “rights” or “freedom.” It makes nearly 31 changes to our state laws, trampling parental rights and eliminating important protections for women and minors.
For example, it’s likely to abolish conscience rights for medical practitioners who object to providing abortions. It’s likely to remove legal protections for children who survive botched abortions, and could allow the requirement that doctors perform the abortion when it does occur.
It could do away with important safeguards protecting informed medical consent such as a waiting period, an ultrasound viewing and the requirement that women seeking an abortion understand both what the abortion entails and the specifics of fetal development. It might even do away with prohibitions on experimentation with living embryos, fetuses or neonates and regulations requiring respectful disposal of fetal remains.
Nobody supporting the bill will tell you this, of course. It’s possible that some of its advocates simply aren’t aware of the bill’s implications, or are unwilling to accept them.
But it does not help women or children. In fact, advocates for Proposal 3 are using anxiety and misinformation to push legislation through that hurts these groups. Building a better, freer future for women requires education and empowerment, not reckless fear mongering and deception.
What’s more, the proposal’s supporters can’t publicly acknowledge or recognize that abortion is historically rooted in genocide, racism, and eugenics. Proposal 3 would directly result in a reduction of the African-American population.
With nearly 80% of abortion clinics today located in or near marginalized communities of color, this policy was historically designed under the guise of “helping” poor or marginalized women receive abortions so they would not have the “burden” of raising children.
Women having more abortions, however, doesn’t mean they’re empowered with resources, affordable child care, housing, education or tax credits. Nor are they protected from dangers of human trafficking.
Legal, widespread abortion was used to terminate the “feeble minded” members of the Black community. For the past several decades, abortion has killed nearly four times as many Black infants as white ones. It also undermines the very structures that support these women in the first place: family, community and churches.
Proposal 3 is dangerous for African-Americans, for women, for children and for Michigan. As a Democrat and Republican, together we know that Proposal 3 offers no equity and no empowerment for women — just death for the child.
Monica’s mother chose life, and offered her up for adoption. Monica owes her life to that decision, and to the resources that made the choice possible.
The women of Michigan deserve real solutions that support and protect them, like what Human Coalition works to provide. Their internal data show that 76% of women seeking abortions would prefer to parent if they had the right support and resources.
Women need to know that they have options, no matter how stuck they might be or feel. They need access to credible information about their pregnancy, and support as they make one of the most important decisions of their lives. They need to feel safe.
It’s obvious, then, to anyone paying attention: Women don’t need radical expansions to abortion access. They don’t need feckless, anything-goes legislation on the books smuggled in under the guise of “reproductive freedom.”
It’s also a straightforwardly bipartisan interest to make sure vulnerable women receive this kind of help, and are defended from measures like Proposal 3. That’s because the right thing isn’t partisan.
“I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong,” Frederick Douglass once wrote. This is the best and most noble form of politics: Forming alliances to defend justice, to defend right and to speak the truth.
So we’re asking you now, a Democrat and a Republican: Help us develop the resources vulnerable women really need. Join us now — whether you are progressive or conservative, man or woman — and cast a vote for truth.
Cast a vote for the right thing. Cast a vote for women. This November, vote no on Prop 3.
Rev. Dean Nelson is the executive director of Human Coalition Action, responsible for advancing the Culture of Life in the political sphere, by building bridges, coalitions, and partnerships.
Monica Sparks is the president of Democrats for Life of America.