Reader, health care professional says Proposal 3 is dangerous and extreme

October 26, 2022

Reader, health care professional says Proposal 3 is dangerous and extreme

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Dear Editor, 

Women and children are important pivotal issues in the upcoming mid-term elections. As a woman, biological mother, adoptive mother, and health care professional it is my belief that Proposal 3 is both dangerous and extreme. This proposal does not protect women or reproductive freedom. The language of this proposal actually puts women and children in danger without any recourse, undermines health care professionals, and gives pregnancy rights to men. Women and children should have their rights protected from terrible proposals like this one. The language is too vague and too broad and goes beyond what most supporters want, which in my understanding is a constitutional right to elective abortion. 

Supporters of Proposal 3 often cast non-supporters as conspiracy theorists, and brush off their concerns as “crazy” when all the vague language and potential ramifications are questioned. There will be ramifications. If the proposal passes, it will become part of the Michigan constitutional law which would supersede other laws when challenged in court. 

My concerns with Proposal 3:
• The first line of the proposal states: “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.” 

Since “Every Individual” is such a broad term, It could be interpreted that men can also make these decisions for a woman. It never states, “every woman” and does not even state this is related to “her/their own pregnancy.” Therefore, can the biological father of the baby claim it is his reproductive right to determine matters related to pregnancy? Because the language is vague, this could potentially be challenged in court. These broad terms will potentially leave women fighting against men for rights to their own pregnancy care. 

• In addition,the use of the term “individual” rather than adult means this constitutional right would also now apply to all children. Constitutional laws have the potential to override current laws. The wording of this proposal could mean a child would have the “fundamental right” to consent to their treatment regarding sterilization and abortion. 

Under current law, a minor (a person under age 17) may consent to HIV and sexually transmitted disease testing, prenatal and pregnancy related health care. The term “health care” refers to treatment or services intended to maintain and improve the health of both the minor and the minor’s child. Currently, consent from one parent/legal guardian or a judicial waiver of parental consent is needed for a minor to have an abortion. They must also comply with a 24 hour waiting period prior to having an abortion. If this proposal is passed, this all-encompassing language of “every individual” and “fundamental right” would potentially abolish consent for minors and the 24 hour waiting periods because that would be an infringement of the child’s right. In addition, it would potentially allow a minor male or female the ability to consent to either chemical or surgical sterilization without parental consent, because sterilization is included in 

this list of reproductive rights. All it would take is one challenge in court or one health care professional afraid to lose their job to go along with child sterilization. The trickle down effect would then normalize this. 

• The use of the terms “health care professionals” in the proposal is too vague and allows for many non-qualified individuals to be held liable for providing these services. Under current Michigan Law outlined in PUBLIC HEALTH CODE
Act 368 of 1978, only a physician and a qualified assistant can perform an abortion. If the Michigan constitution is amended to include this new language of “health care professional”, this opens up the door for legal challenges to this statute that do not currently exist, and potentially unsafe medical practices. Michigan law states that health care professionals include 26 different professions. These include dentists, acupuncturists, massage therapists, counselors, audiologist, physical therapists, optometrists and more. Since this proposal states that an “individual’s right may not be denied”, or “infringed upon,” then anyone with a medical license could be asked to provide an abortion regardless of qualifications or expertise to do so. In addition, if the woman has an adverse outcome from the abortion, the person that provided the abortion services will not be held liable because the proposal states they will be exempt from prosecution. This does not support the best care practices of health care professionals, or the interests of women. 

• Under this proposal, medical professionals can not conscientiously object to providing an abortion without potentially being charged with discrimination and being in violation of constitutional law. Your employer could also decide to have you fired for not complying. 

• The wording in the proposal allows exceptions for late term abortions for mental health reasons. This is far reaching and could allow someone to carry their child to their due date but then cite mental distress and abort a full term baby. 

The few parts of this proposal that make sense are already common practice in medicine such as protecting a pregnant mother’s life in a medical emergency. From my own experience working in emergency medicine, I can share that I never witnessed a mother’s life being sacrificed for the baby’s life. In situations such as an ectopic pregnancy, where a baby implants outside the uterus, the standard of care is always to save the mother. In situations, where there is an opportunity to save both the mother and the baby, everything is done to save both, however the mother’s life always comes first. The overturning of Roe vs. Wade does not supercede current clinical best practices or care for miscarriages, stillbirths, retained placentas, retained products of conception, etc. This is a fact. The only thing that was overturned is now elective abortions are not a federal constitutional right. Each state has to decide only about elective abortions, not basic health care needs as the supporters of Proposal 3 claim. The rights of a woman in regards to miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies, ect. are still the same. 

This proposal is dangerous in its purposefully vague language that would potentially allow unrestricted access to abortion and sterilization to all ages. The language of this proposal actually puts women and children in danger without any recourse, undermines health care 

professionals, and gives pregnancy rights to men. I urge you to read the proposal below multiple times. 

Please vote No to Proposal 3. Sincerely,
Katherine Grierson, MS PA-C Ludington, Michigan 

The proposal for your review has been taken verbatim from the website Proposal 3: Article 1, Section 28 Rights to Reproductive Freedom
1) Every individual has the 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, or 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 circumstances 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 no 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 the individuals autonomous decision-making. 

“Fetal viability” means: the point in pregnancy when, in the professional judgement of an attending health care professional and based on the particular facts of the case, there is 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. 

Sources: i chigan.pdf jectName=mcl-333-17015 %20in%20conjunction,the%20Michigan%20Public%20Health%20Code. 


Kathy Grieson

Hamlin Township

Area Churches