Right to Life Michigan challenges abortion rights amendment in lawsuit

Right to Life Michigan filed a lawsuit this week that seeks to overturn Proposal 3, the amendment that makes abortion legal in the state. 

Plaintiffs also include Republican lawmakers, as well as anti-abortion doctors and organizations.

The suit against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Attorney General Dana Nessel, and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson is challenging the proposal on federal constitutional grounds. It argues that the proposal created a "super-right to 'reproductive freedom.'"

Attorneys for the plaintiffs go on to write that "at no time in our nation’s history has such a super-right, immune from all legislative action, ever been created by a popular vote outside of the checks and balances of a republican form of government."

Proposal 3 went to voters after Roe v. Wade was overturned. 

Michiganders approved Proposal 3 in a 57% to 43% vote last year. The amendment led to a bill overruling a law that made abortion illegal without exception for rape or incest. Under Proposal 3, the state can regulate abortion after fetal viability but cannot ban the procedure if medically necessary. 


Michigan's 1931-era abortion ban officially repealed

Abortion protection was enshrined in the Michigan constitution after a ballot proposal passed last year. Despite being dormant, the law that banned the practice remained on the books - until today.

The suit cites plaintiffs' experiences in its reasoning. For instance, a doctor who is a plaintiff named in the suit says Proposal 3 "forces her to provide the objectionable services in violation of her sincerely held religious beliefs and her professional medical judgment, moral values, and conscience."

Proposal 3 "removes any statutory protection of their right of conscience and thus substantially interferes with fundamental constitutional liberty interests held by those who oppose abortion on moral and religious grounds," the lawsuit says. 

The lawsuit also argues that fetuses have "an interest in ‘life,’" adding that "this interest is protected by the equal protection guarantee of the Fourteenth Amendment."

In a statement, the President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Michigan, Paula Thornton Greear, called the lawsuit "dirty tactics," adding that the suit seeks to "undermine Michigan voters and strip them of their fundamental right to reproductive freedom."

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