FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DETROIT – The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan (ACLU) celebrates the passage of Proposal 3, a historic victory that makes Michigan the first state in the nation to pass an affirmative citizen-led constitutional amendment that guarantees the right to abortion.
Today’s triumph is the result of years of strategic vision and planning, coalition building, fundraising, and harnessing the power of the people across Michigan and the nation, who generously gave thousands of hours of their time to protect a right that Americans have enjoyed for nearly 50 years.
Well before the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on June 24, the ACLU of Michigan knew the threat to a legal abortion was imminent and had been preparing a strategy to fight back given that the archaic 1931 state law that makes abortion a felony was still on the books. Starting in January 2021, the civil rights group organized a listening tour with stakeholders across the state, including Planned Parenthood of Michigan and Michigan Voices, to explore how to best protect reproductive rights. Later that year, the groups agreed that passing a constitutional amendment was the most enduring way to expand and protect reproductive freedom in Michigan, and formed a ballot campaign, Reproductive Freedom for All (RFFA).
To ensure that the RFFA campaign was poised to begin signature collection to qualify for the November 2022 ballot, the National ACLU and the ACLU of Michigan contributed more than $6 million to RFFA. That seed money, and the monumental work of thousands of volunteers across Michigan spurred on by the leaked draft SCOTUS opinion overturning Roe, resulted in RFFA submitting 735,439 petition signatures – more than any other ballot measure in the state’s history.
After the measure qualified for the ballot, thousands of volunteers across Michigan knocked on doors, made phone calls, and talked to friends and families to ensure the passage of Proposal 3. Despite opponents pouring millions of dollars into ads trumpeting misleading claims to confuse voters about the ballot measure, Reproductive Freedom for All prevailed.
As the ACLU celebrates this historic win, the work is far from over. The civil rights organization will continue to fight for equitable reproductive healthcare for those most likely to be denied access, including people of color, immigrants, low-income people, rural residents, and people who are incarcerated.
The new amendment will take effect on December 23, 45 days after Election Day, and as a constitutional amendment, will render the 1931 statute banning abortion unenforceable.
Loren Khogali, ACLU of Michigan executive director, has this statement:
“Thank you, Michigan voters, volunteers, supporters, donors, advocates and coalition partners, who gave everything to ensure this historic victory! Today’s win belongs to all of us. Together, we blazed a trail, making Michigan a national model of what other states can achieve across America. As we celebrate, we also know that there is more work to do. We must ensure that the fundamental right to reproductive freedom is equally accessible to all Michiganders. The work that brought us to this moment has forged a formidable coalition of partners committed to reproductive freedom and justice in Michigan. Given the strength, resilience, and determination of all the people who are engaged in the movement, I am confident in the path ahead.”
Bonsitu Kitaba, ACLU of Michigan deputy legal director, has this statement:
“This victory is built upon years of coalition building, investigating, and litigating. Together we are building power and cementing the right to reproductive healthcare and freedom for every person in Michigan for generations to come. We will never stop fighting for the freedom of those who need abortion care to be able to make the best medical decisions for themselves and their families. The fight continues.”
Merissa Kovach, ACLU of Michigan legislative director, has this statement:
“This is a historic victory for reproductive freedom that reinforces what we already know: The overwhelming majority of people in Michigan support reproductive freedom and voters will protect abortion access. We are grateful for every Michigan voter who showed they will not put up with politicians or policies that force pregnancy on people and made it clear that they will protect the power of women and people who need abortion care to make the best medical decisions for themselves and their families.”
Jessica Ayoub, ACLU of Michigan field director, has this statement:
“Thank you to our volunteers from every corner of the state – together, we protected our right to abortion and reproductive freedom in Michigan! We could not have done this without you. From volunteers collecting record-breaking signatures to secure Prop 3 on November’s ballot, to the countless phone calls, texts, and door knocks made to educate voters that abortion access is on the ballot, thank you. Onward!”