(The Center Square) – Right-to-Life and other plaintiffs filed a lawsuit on federal constitutional grounds challenging the enactment of Proposal 3, an abortion rights amendment voters enshrined into the Michigan Constitution.
The American Freedom Law Center and Great Lakes Justice Center sued in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan on behalf of 16 plaintiffs challenging the abortion rights law voters passed Nov. 8, 2022.
The plaintiffs include Right to Life Michigan; the American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists; Michigan Reps. Gina Johnsen and Luke Meerman; Sen. Joseph Bellino Jr.; Dr. Melissa Halvorson; Christian Medical and Dental Associations; Crossroads Care Center; Celina Asberg; Grace Fisher; Jane Roe, on behalf of preborn babies; Andrea Smith; John Hubbard; Lara Hubbard; Save the 1; and Rebecca Kiessling.
The lawsuit says the abortion right “causes great harm to pregnant women (and others) as a class by exempting them from the legal protections afforded to other classes of individuals in violation of the equal protection guarantee of the Fourteenth Amendment.”
The lawsuit says the law “violates parental rights” protected by the 14th Amendment by depriving them of their right to direct the upbringing and education of their minor children by excluding them from their children’s decisions regarding “reproduction.”
The complaint says the new law violates the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment by overriding any objection on religious grounds to endorsing, providing, or supporting procedures involving “reproduction,” thereby infringing on the rights of conscience and religious exercise protected by the First Amendment.
Also, the lawsuit says the law “deprives preborn babies” and babies with disabilities of the right to life without due process of law in violation of the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment.
The lawsuit says Proposal 3 created a reproductive freedom “super-right” immune from legislative action, thereby nullifying the legitimate authority of the legislative branch in violation of the Guarantee Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees private citizens the right to a republican form of government and thus protects them from the tyranny of the majority.
The lawsuit says federal courts have long recognized challenges to statewide Constitutional referendums passed by voters, including a 1992 proposal known as Amendment 2 that prohibited all legislative, executive, or judicial action at any level of state or local government designed to protect homosexual persons.
In Romer v. Evans in 1996, the U.S. Supreme Court held that Amendment 2 violated the equal protection guarantee of the 14th Amendment on rational basis grounds because there was no fundamental right nor suspect class implicated.
As stated by the Supreme Court, “A law declaring that in general it shall be more difficult for one group of citizens than for all others to seek aid from the government is itself a denial of equal protection of the laws in the most literal sense. The guaranty of equal protection of the laws is a pledge of the protection of equal laws.”
The lawsuit seeks a declaration that the abortion rights law violates the United States Constitution and a permanent injunction to prevent its implementation.