Michigan voters collectively passed Proposal 3 in this week’s general election, effectively codifying abortion rights for people in the state under the Michigan Constitution.
Proposal 3, also known as the Reproductive Freedom for All initiative, is a proposed constitutional amendment that would protect the legal right to abortion and contraceptives in Michigan. The proposal passed with majority support -- 56% for compared to 44% against -- early Wednesday morning. See the latest tally below.
(4,690 / 4,690)
When does it take effect?
As of Wednesday, Nov. 9, the Proposal 3 race has been called in favor of approval of the proposed constitutional amendment.
According to the Michigan Constitution’s Article XII § 2, a proposed constitutional amendment that is approved by the majority of voters will take effect 45 days after the date of the election in which the proposal passed. This means that the constitutional amendment should take effect by Dec. 23.
Note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly cited the state constitution’s Article II § 9, and incorrectly suggested the amendment should take effect by Dec. 10.
What will the amendment do?
The Reproductive Freedom for All initiative was introduced in Michigan earlier this year in anticipation of the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, a landmark ruling from 1973 that protected the right to abortions nationwide. When the Supreme Court ruling was overturned, individual states were left to regulate abortion within their individual jurisdictions.
In Michigan, a law from the 1930s is still on the books, banning nearly all abortions in the state. The law was poised to take effect after Roe was overturned, but never fully did due to a number of lawsuits seeking to block its enforcement.
Before the Nov. 8 election, one lawsuit successfully blocked the acting state attorney general from prosecuting abortion, while another lawsuit successfully blocked county prosecutors from enforcing the ban -- albeit temporarily. Now that Michigan voters have approved a constitutional amendment that will protect the right to an abortion, the ongoing legal battles across the state will become moot, as the amendment will now be considered law.
The constitutional amendment will legalize abortions in Michigan and prevent people receiving or performing abortions from being criminally or civilly charged.
The amendment will do the following (as written in the proposal):
- Establish new individual right to reproductive freedom, including right to make and carry out all decisions about pregnancy, such as prenatal care, childbirth, postpartum care, contraception, sterilization, abortion, miscarriage management, and infertility;
- Allow state to regulate abortion after fetal viability, but not prohibit if medically needed to protect a patient’s life or physical or mental health;
- Forbid state discrimination in enforcement of this right; prohibit prosecution of an individual, or a person helping a pregnant individual, for exercising rights established by this amendment;
- Invalidate state laws conflicting with this amendment.
Essentially, the approved constitutional amendment will afford the same rights to people in Michigan that they had under Roe v. Wade.
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