Pro-choice advocates overplaying their political hand in Michigan


By now, we all know the pro-choice/reproductive freedom movement propelled Democrats last year to their best ballot victories in a generation.

Come next year, the same movement may cost Democrats that advantage.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and legislative Democrats spiked the football this spring by repealing the 1931 Michigan law that outlawed abortion.

This all came after a sizable chunk of this population said it supported not only legalizing abortion but making access to it a constitutional right for all women.

Instead of letting the court work out the practical impact of that, legislative Democrats are trying to revoke around 20 years of abortion regulations by Thanksgiving.

They’re not just chipping away 40 years of restrictive abortion policy crafted by Right to Life and other pro-life interest groups piece-by-piece. Progressive Democrats are trying to barrel-roll repeals to reforms all at once. Now they’re realizing how difficult — and how politically dangerous — that is.

Democratic lawmakers, particularly those in competitive districts, are getting cold feet — and they should.

The Marketing Resource Group discovered the following after polling 600 likely Michigan voters earlier this month (54.5% of whom voted for pro-choice Proposal 3) for the Michigan Catholic Conference. Proposal 3, which enshrined the right to an abortion in the Constitution, passed 56.66% to 43.34% nearly a year ago.

  • 72% of respondents support a 24-hour waiting period before someone gets an abortion. This informed consent period allows the doctor to share information and lets that information sink in. This is one of the regulations legislative Democrats want to get rid of.
  • 70% of respondents support requiring parents to sign off on their minor-age teenager receiving an abortion. This is another regulation Dems want to get rid of.
  • 95% of respondents support a regulation “that requires that abortion facilities be licensed and inspected by the state for health and safety reasons.” Only 2% oppose it. One could easily quibble about how this one is worded. The actual law in question deals with regulating abortion clinics like a hospital surgical unit, not allowing these facilities to become some dirty back ally. Still, this issue can clearly be framed negatively.
  • 52% support a ban on “partial-birth abortion in the final weeks of pregnancy where the baby is partially delivered during the abortion.” Another 32% oppose it. The term “partial-birth abortion” is a bit of a misnomer. Elective, late-term abortions are rarely, if ever, performed. But, again, the pro-choice community is kicking a hornet’s nest by bringing up the issue in the first place.
  • 23.6% support “your taxpayer dollars” being “used to pay for abortions.” Another 59.3% said they oppose it. Forget that Democrats are dropping this from their final proposal. The fact remains that Medicaid-funded abortions were in the Democrats’ package to begin with.

You can see the political TV ad now, can’t you? It almost writes itself.

The Right to Life community successfully nipped around the edges of abortion regulation for years, never taking such a big bite.

The majority of the public didn’t turn against them until the U.S. Supreme Court repealed Roe v. Wade, throwing the issue to the states and their outdated, overly strict laws.

It turned purple states, like Michigan, bright blue.

Now the reproductive freedom people are overplaying their hand. Progress Michigan’s most recent poll found abortion isn’t the No. 1 issue. That’s government transparency. It’s not the second or the third. Those are affordable housing and “holding utilities companies accountable.”

No. 4 was the “Reproductive Health Act,” this collection of stuff the Catholic Conference polled on.

Look, Michigan voters legalized abortion. As far as they’re concerned, they’re done. Legislative Democrats can do nothing by bringing it up again. The public is clear that it wants Democrats to find other problems to fix.

The courts will likely get rid of all of the aforementioned restrictions anyway because of how expansive Proposal 3 was written.

Making Democrats in marginal districts walk the plank on repealing informed consent or parental consent makes no sense.

(Email Kyle Melinn of the Capitol News Service MIRS at


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