Engaging views and analysis from outside contributors on the issues affecting society and faith today.

CP VOICES do not necessarily reflect the views of The Christian Post. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author(s).

Michigan’s Catholic parishes model faithful witness in face of abortion ballot

Credit :

For the past few Sundays, churchgoers at every Catholic church in Michigan have heard the same message — and for many, it may have been a surprising one. Bishops across the state have asked priests to educate and inform their parishioners about a specific issue on the ballot for Michiganders on Nov. 8: Proposal 3, a proposed amendment that would enshrine abortion in Michigan’s constitution, likely invalidate some two dozen Michigan pro-life laws, and crush efforts to promote and protect life and women’s health.

Many Christians are perhaps not used to hearing their priests or pastors speak about so-called “controversial” issues from the pulpit. But Proposal 3 has profound spiritual and practical implications for Christians. And Michigan’s Catholic priests are modeling a bold approach to pastoring and discipleship, one that encourages Christians to not only worship in their churches but live their faith in the public square. Michigan’s priests exemplify how to provide pastoral care to prepare their congregants with the information and insight needed to do so.

Proposal 3 is a proposed state constitutional amendment, misleadingly promoted as “merely” reinstating Roe v. Wade in Michigan. That’s why Catholic priests are taking the opportunity during every Sunday Mass between now and Election Day to tell the truth about the proposal. And Catholic parishes are including information in their bulletins to help parishioners understand how the proposed amendment’s radical elements violate numerous aspects of Christian teaching.

Let’s be perfectly clear: Proposal 3 is one of the most radical pro-abortion proposals in the country. By extending a so-called right to reproductive freedom to “every individual,” it authorizes minors to obtain abortions without parental consent — or even notice. And because the proposal defines reproductive freedom to include “sterilization,” a minor could obtain gender transition services, including cross-sex hormones and irreversible, sterilizing surgery without parental consent or notice, too.  Any other medical procedure always requires a parent’s approval, even something as simple as a school nurse dispensing aspirin for a child’s headache.

Proposal 3 would also legalize partial-birth abortion, a horrifying procedure where an abortionist partially delivers a baby before dismembering and killing him or her. And by limiting state laws to those “protecting the health” of the mother seeking the abortion, Michigan could not even prohibit discriminatory abortions that target a baby based on race, sex, or disability.

It gets worse. Proposal 3 elevates abortionists above common-sense medical regulations. Every other medical professional must follow health-and-safety regulations that protect patients. But Proposal 3 only allows health regulations for abortionists “consistent with accepted clinical standards of practice.” And who decides what health standards are “accepted” for abortion clinics? Abortionists! So if the abortion industry does not want to comply with standard safety rules for surgical centers, or a requirement to have hospital admitting privileges in case of a medical emergency, they can cavalierly ignore them.

Most shockingly, Proposal 3 plainly states that the government cannot “prosecute, or otherwise take adverse action against someone for aiding or assisting” an abortion. If a school counselor helps a teenager obtain an abortion and intentionally hides it from her parents? No consequences. If a non-medical professional assists in an abortion? No consequences. If an abortionist commits gross negligence and kills the mother as well as the child? The abortionist will argue that a malpractice action cannot proceed because any legal judgment entered by a Michigan court is an “adverse” state action.

There are multiple issues at stake here for Christians who rightly recognize that every human is made in the image of God and is worthy of our protection. No person is too small, too young, too disabled, or too inconvenient. Priests and pastors do well when they remind their congregations that these basic truths endure.

The Christian tradition also upholds the right of parents to raise and care for their children. Proposal 3 invades that right by placing abortionists, gender clinics, government officials, and even traffickers between parents and their children. Proposal 3 seeks to shred the fabric of the family.

Finally, Christianity teaches that we advocate for the weak and powerless — something Proposal 3 thwarts. By allowing abortionists to set their own rules, the proposal not only allows the taking of innocent, unborn life but subjects vulnerable women to untold dangers — provided there is “voluntary consent,” Proposal 3’s unconscionable substitute for the medical profession’s gold standard of “informed consent.”

In sum, Proposal 3 touches the core of Christian teachings about the sacredness of every human life, about the family and society, and about care for the least among us. That is why Michigan’s Catholic bishops have chosen to stand against Proposal 3. Spiritual truths such as love of God and love of neighbor cannot be confined to religious buildings or homes. When a misguided culture violates Christians’ deepest beliefs about the nature of God and humanity, priests, pastors, and ministers have a responsibility to speak and help their congregants discern how to faithfully show others what true love is.

Get Our Latest News for FREE

Subscribe to get daily/weekly email with the top stories (plus special offers!) from The Christian Post. Be the first to know.

John Bursch is vice president of appellate advocacy and senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom (@ADFLegal). Bursch served as Michigan’s solicitor general from 2011-2013.

Was this article helpful?

Help keep The Christian Post free for everyone.

By making a recurring donation or a one-time donation of any amount, you're helping to keep CP's articles free and accessible for everyone.

We’re sorry to hear that.

Hope you’ll give us another try and check out some other articles. Return to homepage.

Most Popular

More In Opinion