Michigan voters approved Proposition 3, which amends the state constitution to include the right to reproductive freedom and allows the legislature to regulate abortion only in “some cases.” According to the Michigan House of Representatives Fiscal Agency, Proposition 3 includes the following provisions:
- Establishes a new individual right to make and carry out all decisions about pregnancy, such as prenatal care, childbirth, postpartum care, contraception, sterilization, abortion, miscarriage management, and infertility;
- Allows the state to regulate abortion after fetal viability, but not prohibit if medically needed to protect a patient’s life or physical or mental health;
- Forbids state discrimination in enforcement of this right;
- Prohibits prosecution of an individual, or a person helping a pregnant individual, for exercising rights established by this amendment; and
- Invalidates state laws conflicting with this amendment.
The state defined fetal viability as the point at which a fetus could survive outside the uterus without extraordinary medical measures. An attending health care professional would make that determination.
There is a full abortion ban in Michigan dating back to 1846, which makes exceptions only for saving the life of the mother. The law was blocked by Roe and is not being enforced after Dobbs due to a court injunction. But under that law, performing an abortion is punishable by up to four years in prison and if the woman dies as a result of the abortion, the physician can be charged with manslaughter.
The initiative was brought forward by the organization Reproductive Freedom for All, which collected 596,379 valid signatures. Michigan law required 425,059 signatures, so the Board of State Canvassers put it on the ballot.
California, Kentucky and Vermont also have referendums on the ballot regarding abortion rights. In August, Kansas voters rejected an amendment that said there was no right to an abortion in the state.