Community entities gauge merits of Proposal 3 ahead of midterms


GVL / Josh Alburtus

Chloe Schram, Staff Writer

The November election is approaching quickly and Proposal 3 is on the ballot. Michigan residents have this voting opportunity to make their voices heard and fight for what they believe in regard to reproductive rights.

With the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in June to overturn its 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that provided constitutional protections for nationwide abortion access, many eligible voters have been energized to take to the polls.

If Proposal 3 is passed, it would codify the ability to access abortion services into the Michigan constitution.

Ashlea Phenicie, communications director at Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan, told the Lanthorn what she fears may happen without a “yes” on Proposal 3.

 “Michigan has a 1931 law on the books that could ban nearly all abortions in Michigan – even in cases of rape and incest,” Phenicie said.

In the situation that someone is pregnant and unable to carry a pregnancy in a safe and healthy manner, they will not receive the option to consider abortion.

But while proponents of the amendment like Phenicie see it as a way to provide people with bodily autonomy and reproductive privacy, many organizations and religious groups disagree with its ultimate goal.

Sandy Ohlman, director of Positive Options in Allendale, explained her views on the importance of voting this November and her thoughts on Proposal 3.

“Voting is a privilege and as Americans, it is respect for our democracy. It is a way to make our voices heard,” Ohlman said.

Ohlman said she believes voting on this issue is important, and she will be voting “no” to Proposal 3 because of her personal beliefs.

There are a few different ways that Proposal 3 will impact Michigan resident’s reproductive rights.

One aspect of the proposal, if passed, would forbid the state from prosecuting a person for receiving an abortion.

The amendment will still allow the state to regulate abortion after fetal viability but will not prohibit the abortion if medically necessary to protect the patient’s physical or mental health. This means that a pregnant person may receive an abortion past the time the fetus is able to survive on its own if it is deemed absolutely necessary by a medical professional.

Grace Hemmeke at Grand Rapids Right to Life said they oppose the proposal because they feel it is too intense.

“We (at Grand Rapids Right to Life) are opposing Proposal 3 because we believe it is too confusing and too extreme,” Hemmeke said.

Supporters of the proposal say the guarantees it would provide are key to ensuring access to safe and legal methods of abortion.

Grand Rapids State Representative, David LaGrand, encourages Michigan residents to vote “yes” on Proposal 3 this November.

“I believe the decision to terminate a pregnancy needs to be made by the woman herself and should not be impacted by laws that are archaic and deeply misogynistic,” LaGrand said.

LaGrand stressed what he believed to be the monumental importance of voting in this year’s midterms as Proposal 3 and other matters come before Michigan voters.

“I believe it’s important for Michiganders to vote this election, especially on Prop 3 because the overturning of Roe v Wade will not stop abortions, but instead lead to unsafe and deadly abortions,” LaGrand said.

One vote can change everything, and local and state government entities continue to encourage citizens to vote this November to ensure that the voices of the people are heard.