Shame on You, Michigan

News: Commentary
by Kyle Kopy  •  •  November 22, 2022   

America's new abortion destination?

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It's official: Michigan residents are now constitutionally subhuman and under the threat of legal murder for at least most of their unborn lives. That's bad enough, but let's examine just exactly how far this constitutional amendment will push the anti-life agenda in Michigan.  

Michigan's radical pro-abort Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

But first of all, I have to admit that I (naively) thought we were better than this, my fellow Michiganders. Not only did we allow the pro–child murder wicked witch of the Midwest, Gretchen Whitmer, to get re-elected, but we just allowed what could be one of the most radical anti-life state constitutional amendments — Proposal 3 — to get approved in the midterms. This makes my home state "the abortion capital of the country," according to Rebecca Mastee, a policy advocate for the Michigan Catholic Conference. 

So alongside famous state sights like Mackinac Island and Sleeping Bear Dunes, will our Pure Michigan commercials now feature the slaughtering of innocent children in the womb to attract potential tourists and residents? It's certainly not stopping countless out-of-state women desiring to kill their children and child-dismembering doctors from coming here. With incentives like these, my state is basically rolling out the bloodstained red carpet for them.  

In the ironically named "Reproductive Freedom for All" proposal, the only thing that will be reproduced is murdered children. Let's review what my fellow statesmen have opted for in choosing this. Perhaps some of them will be reading about it for the first time, since none of this was explained on the ballot

The amendment states that "every individual has a right to reproductive freedom." The use of the word "individual" means that these measures may apply to citizens of any age. So yes, your promiscuous daughter can have an abortion at whatever age she ends up getting pregnant. The "fundamental right" phrase reminds us that this is no mere law; it's a state constitutional amendment, which is much harder to reverse.

Many have argued that the lack of age restriction and the amendment's talk of "sterilization" as a "fundamental right" will open the door to so-called gender-affirming care for children of any age — a claim that some legal experts say is unfounded. According to Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit, Prop 3 "has nothing to do with gender identity or gender-affirming care." He explains that the term "sterilization" should be seen only in the context of issues directly related to pregnancy. I pray he's right. For now, the 4-year-old who shows an affinity for his mother's shoes is safe from genital mutilation and artificial hormone treatment. 

Some have made a big deal about the fact that this allows children of any age to seek contraception as well, but this is really nothing new. Any middle schooler can walk into Walgreens and buy condoms. You may be disgusted to find out that it's common practice for pediatricians to start talking to girls about oral contraceptives at their 11-year checkups. 

The sad truth is that the unborn here may have been better protected under Roe.

The amendment goes on to say that these new so-called rights "shall not be denied, burdened or infringed," which makes it very difficult to restrict or regulate them.

One example of this lack of restriction concerns the question of exactly who can legally approve a late-term abortion. Although the amendment states that the decision must be made by a "health care professional," under Michigan law, this could be virtually anyone: a dentist, optometrist, massage therapist, acupuncturist, etc. Come to Michigan, where you can get same-day cavity filling and abortion approval!

Not only can a late-term abortion be approved to "protect the physical life of the mother" (this so-called exception will be the subject of a future article), but her "mental health" (an often-used pro-death excuse) can be taken into account as well. Rest assured, this mental health exception likely won't just be applied to late-term abortion, but it's reasonable to suspect that this could be used as grounds to terminate any pregnancy at any time. All a woman has to say is that she's experiencing some subjective mental illness to get the go-ahead from any medical professional. 

News Report: Dems' Dark Agenda

And get ready for your hard-earned tax dollars to not just pay for things like fixing our roads (something Gov. Whitmer kept harping on during her first campaign). Regarding abortion, Michigan could potentially no longer "discriminate in the protection or enforcement" of this "fundamental right" because prohibiting tax dollars from funding abortion could be seen as an act of discrimination. 

Some pro-life advocates warn that the amendment would not allow anyone to be prosecuted for having or even assisting in an abortion, which essentially removes all responsibility for anyone involved in this heinous act — but this claim is dubious. These things can still be regulated if there is a "compelling state interest achieved by the least restrictive means." So no, the troubled neighbor boy that likes to torture small animals shouldn't be called over to help kill your daughter's unborn child after her boyfriend knocks her up — lest the deranged kid next door wants to risk being liable if something goes wrong. Simply allowing any old Tom, Dick or Harry to approve a late-term abortion was bad enough. 


Anti-Prop 3 prayer campaign in

the diocese of Lansing, Mich.

The amendment makes it seem like it graciously allows room for abortion restrictions, but its language makes it seem like this would be very difficult. First, it states that any restrictions must protect the "health of the individual seeking care." As we've seen, the ambiguous term "health" opens the allowance of abortion for any host of reasons. And second, the amendment states that any abortion restrictions must not infringe on an "individual's autonomous decision-making." Philosophical language notwithstanding, this basically means any free decision that one makes. Therefore, if a woman freely decides to have an abortion, then how could one place restrictions on that? That seems to be the stark logical conclusion of that language.

This is indicative of the larger philosophical argument against pro-death advocates who use the language of "pro-choice" or the "right to choose" or "don't tell me what to do with my body." It's not a question of having a choice; it's a matter of what's chosen. If the thing chosen is immoral or illegal, then one is culpable of transgression.

The whole purpose of law is to regulate one's "autonomous decision-making." In other words, laws tell you what to do with your body. If one uses his body to break the law, then he ought to be punished. By saying that killing the unborn is OK merely because someone freely chooses it, Michigan could be setting a dangerous legal precedent.

The amendment also attempts to redefine "fetal viability," which has traditionally been understood as the point at which the baby can survive outside the womb. Eschewing this original definition, Prop 3 adds that to be viable, the child must not need any "extraordinary medical measures." 

Preterm births are those under 37 weeks, and that makes up a little over 10% of all Michigan births. Some claim that under this new amendment, any child who visits the NICU shortly after birth would be receiving "extraordinary" treatment and therefore could be denied life-saving medical care, as long as the mother consents and the "health care professional" judges it so. If this were true, it would be a wide-open door to infanticide. But alas, this seems to be another bit of pro-life embellishment. Michigan still has a born alive protection act, which requires that medical treatment be given to any child who survives an abortion — a life-saving measure that Montana pro-lifers couldn't achieve in their midterms.   

True to form, the amendment employs the woke terminology of "pregnant individuals." You know that something is deceitful when it can't even admit that only biological women can get pregnant.

In the lead-up to the election, Prop 3 was touted as something that would simply uphold Roe in Michigan, but that remains to be seen. Deceptive ads portrayed the proposal as something that would simply block a 91-year-old state ban on abortion and protect women if their lives were at risk. The sad truth is that the unborn here may have been better protected under Roe. At the very least, abortion used to be illegal after fetal viability here (with few exceptions).

The proposal states that it would "invalidate all state laws that conflict with this amendment." It could very well roll back some of the victories won by Michigan pro-life advocates in the decades since Roe — laws that require things like parental consent forms for minors seeking an abortion, informed consent and 24-hour wait periods for patients, restrictions on the taxpayer funding of abortion, limits on private insurance coverage for abortion and conscience-protection laws for doctors and hospital that refuse to take part in abortion.      


Anti-Proposal 3 sign

Regarding the issue of informed consent, the state used to require that a woman receive a written summary about her particular abortion procedure, view pictures of what her baby would look like at its current gestational age and receive information about adoption. All of this could go away because the amendment replaced "informed consent" with "voluntary consent," which merely means that there is no coercion or deceit on the part of the practitioner. It strips the practitioner of his duty to fully disclose to the woman what she's about to undergo.    

Even though I smiled as I drove by the many houses that prominently displayed their "No to Prop 3" lawn signs, I felt something was missing from them. Why was the slogan "Too confusing, too extreme"? Would it be OK if it were only slightly confusing and a little extreme? It said nothing about the seemingly unrestricted access to child murder looming over the state. But despite the abundance of these signs, the measure still passed. It also didn't help that out-of-state billionaires funded an overwhelming media countercampaign. 

Perhaps I was being optimistic: "There's no way something like this extreme could go through, right?" Perhaps I should have taken to heart Michael Voris' prediction that Michigan would likely choose consequence-free orgasms over protecting the unborn. Should I have put more stock in reports that claimed one in three "strong" Republican voters in the state were in favor of the amendment or believed the poll that suggested the majority of the state's citizens would support it as well? Unfortunately, the answer was yes. Getting caught up in the "red wave" hype (or whatever weather-related metaphor you prefer) was very enticing.

Did the Dobbs decision lull us into a sense of complacency? Did we forget that winning (for now) this federal battle would only spur us on to an even more intense local fight? The pro-abort Dems certainly seemed to understand this. Just consider how fast ouija board–owning Whitmer mounted her soapbox and declared that she would use "every tool in our toolbox" to "protect women" after the Dobbs decision was announced on June 24.

Indeed, the pro-aborts had already been hard at work. Nearly two months before Dobbs, Whitmer filed a lawsuit in an attempt to stop a 1931 trigger ban from going into effect if Roe was overturned. About a month later, due to a Planned Parenthood lawsuit, a judge granted a preliminary injunction temporarily blocking this abortion ban. This gave the pro-aborts all the time they needed to draft their proposal and get it on the November ballot. 

Did the Dobbs decision lull us into a sense of complacency?

And lest you think that I'm simply yelling at a bunch of people for not "doing enough," I will be first to admit that I myself didn't do all that I could to help strike down this stomach-churning proposal. Did I have all the necessary conversations with the people in my circle of influence? Nope. Was I on my hands and knees beseeching Our Lord to intercede every night, offering up countless mortifications throughout the day in reparation, participating in the 54-Day Novena for Life initiated by one of our local dioceses or joining the Fight Like Heaven prayer campaign? Check the "deficient" box once again. How many of these tools did you take advantage of?

Fighting the temptation to pull chocks and abandon this state for a red one is difficult, and I don't blame anyone who opts to leave. I long ago resolved to die in the state in which I was born and bred, but I'm questioning whether or not I can hold true to that. It does help that a lot of my family are here, not to mention our apostolate.

If I stay, I shudder at having a front-row seat to witness the fallout from this amendment. Then again, much of the child holocaust goes on right under our noses. But Our Lord still sees.

I can't believe I'm utilizing a quote from this reprobate, but in the infamous words of Sen. Chuck Schumer (as he seemingly called for violence against Supreme Court justices after the Dobbs decision), the actions (or inactions) of my fellow Michiganders have "released the whirlwind" and we "will pay the price." But that will not come at the hands of the leftist mob — it will be from Almighty God Himself. May He have mercy on us.

Kyle Kopy has over 15 years of experience in Catholic lay ministry, serving in various parish roles, including catechist and coordinator of youth and young adult ministry. Mr. Kopy holds seminary degrees in philosophy and dogmatic theology. He is a diocesan-certified catechist and high school religion teacher and is also a certificated classical educator. He recently held the theology department chair at a large all-boys high school in southeast Michigan — where he taught theology and philosophy for many years. He's an associate copy editor at Church Militant and an instructor at the St. Clement Catechetical Institute
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