Just one day after voters in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia overwhelmingly voted in favor of abortion rights, an anti-abortion group in Michigan filed a lawsuit in federal court demanding that a voter-approved state constitutional amendment that protects abortion rights be overturned.
The suit was filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Western District of Michigan on Nov. 8 against Democrats Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Attorney General Dana Nessel, and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson.
The plaintiffs include Right to Life of Michigan, the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the Crossroads Care Center, as well as Republican State Sen. Joe Bellino and Republican state Reps. Gina Johnsen and Luke Meerman.
In the November 2022 general election, Michigan voters approved Proposal 3, an amendment under the title “Right to reproductive freedom,” which states, “Every individual has a fundamental right to reproductive freedom, which entails the right to make and effectuate decisions about all matters relating to pregnancy, including but not limited to prenatal care, childbirth, postpartum care, contraception, sterilization, abortion care, miscarriage management, and infertility care.”
The lawsuit requests a permanent injunction against Proposal 3, arguing it creates a “super-right to ‘reproductive freedom,’” which it claims violates the First and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
“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,” the suit reads.
According to reporting by the Detroit News, when asked about the case, Democratic state Sen. Mallory McMorrow said simply, “Good luck,” adding, “You can’t just keep challenging things when you don’t get the response you want.”
The Reproductive Health Act passed by the Michigan House last week and the Senate on Nov. 7 appeared to be headed to Whitmer’s desk for signature. The act would increase access to abortion care and remove several restrictions, such as some targeted regulations of abortion providers, also known as TRAP laws, regulations that force abortion providers to meet medically unnecessary standards in order for clinics to operate.According to the Detroit News, ACLU of Michigan Executive Director Loren Khogali said the Michigan lawsuit is “an attempt to undermine the will of the voters and is a reminder why we must remain vigilant as those who are anti-abortion try to prevent all from accessing this critical, constitutionally protected health care.”