Michigan state House GOP candidate is recorded saying he'd 'revisit Prop 3' - TAI News
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A Republican nominee running for a seat in the Michigan House was recorded saying that if he were elected, he would like to revisit Proposal 3, also known as the Reproductive Freedom for All Initiative, and figure out a way to reverse it, according to reporting by the Michigan Advance

Prop 3, which passed in November 2022, enshrined abortion rights in the state Constitution.

Josh Powell, the GOP candidate for House District 25 in Wayne County, was recorded at an event in February.

According to the Michigan Advance, which said it had reviewed the audio, Powell, whose Democratic opponent is Peter Herzberg, said he was “100% pro-life” when an unnamed attendee asked about his stance on abortion. He added, “I know Prop 3 kind of takes away the choice in the Legislature, but if there’s any opportunities to go that route …”

When the person asked Powell if he would fight for his pro-life views, Powell responded that all he could do was prevent “expanding it,” as the amendment had already been added to the Constitution. He continued, “So yeah. I mean, if we can get something with enough signatures, then I can, you know, we can pass it through the House without having to go through the voting process.”

Amending the state Constitution to remove the newly enshrined right to an abortion would require either a citizen-driven petition approved by voters, a joint legislative resolution approved by both the House and the Senate with a two-thirds majority and approved by voters, or a convention held to amend the constitution. 

In November 2023, a year after Prop. 3 passed, the anti-abortion group Right to Life Michigan, along with several Republican lawmakers, individuals, and a Jane Roe included as a “fictitious name on behalf of preborn babies” filed a federal lawsuit challenging the amendment.

The suit names Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson in their official capacities as defendants. On Jan. 30, their lawyers filed a motion to dismiss the suit.

On his campaign website, Powell, a military veteran, says he was “born to a 16-year-old mother who ignored advice to abort me.”

The special election race will be held on April 16 and will ultimately decide control of the Michigan State House, which is evenly divided 54-54 after two Democrats left office. Rep. Kevin Coleman was elected mayor of Westland and Rep. Lori Stone was elected mayor of Warren.  

Sam Paisley, the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee’s national secretary, said in a press release, “Powell’s comments fly directly in the face of Michiganders’ wishes, who made clear they want their reproductive freedoms protected when they voted Democrats into the majority in 2022.”

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