Dear Editor,

There is much debate about the proposed amendment on the Nov. ballot (#3) to protect reproductive freedom. Some of these arguments are based on honest misunderstandings of what the proposed amendment entails, but, unfortunately, some appear put forward to misconstrue the issue and create confusion.

The Reproductive Freedom For All constitutional amendment would change the state constitution to create the individual right to reproductive freedom, including the right for an individual to make decisions about pregnancy and abortion. Despite arguments put forward by various groups, it does allow the state to regulate abortion after fetal viability, but not prevent it if medically necessary for the woman. There isn’t a woman alive who would frivolously decide to end a pregnancy into her sixth month. These are gut-wrenching, private decisions between a woman, her family, and her doctor. It is nobody else’s business; not the church, the neighbor next door, the county prosecutor, or the robed appointee sitting on his judicial throne engaging in the tyranny of the minority.

This constitutional amendment would repeal the 1931 law that’s on the books that makes abortion or any aid for miscarriage a felony in Michigan. It is time that puritanical, dated law was permanently removed from Michigan’s penal code. Most of us, especially young women, didn’t even realize there was such an animal lurking in the wings.

For many people, this is a religious issue. Different religions have different beliefs on viability and the beginning of life. Where are the advocates for freedom of religion when it comes to this issue?

This amendment gives women bodily autonomy and the right to make their own decisions about pregnancy, including prenatal care, childbirth, postpartum care, contraception, sterilization, abortion, miscarriage management, and infertility. It enjoys widespread, bi-partisan support among Michiganders and deserves to be enshrined in the constitution of this great state we all love.

— Yvonne Linck Osborne