June 28, 2022
A plain reading of the Anything Goes Abortion Amendment indicates that laws requiring parental consent for minor teens seeking an abortion would be forbidden.
In a May 24 Bridge article, ACLU Michigan Deputy Legal Director Bonsitu Kitaba conceded this point:
Minors could get abortions without parental consent because the amendment leaves out age restrictions, Bursch said.
“If you have a 12-year-old at home and they’re going to be getting their tonsils removed, you absolutely need to give an informed consent and sign the form as their parent in order to have a doctor perform that procedure,” Bursch said.
“That same 12-year-old, if they were to get pregnant, would be able to go to an abortion clinic and have the life of their child terminated without their parent even being informed about that fact.”
Backers of the constitutional amendment don’t dispute the claims, saying that the proposal guarantees the right to reproductive health from birth including not only abortion but also miscarriage care and contraception.
“Our state has put in place substantial barriers that really deprive young people of autonomy to decide what they can do with their own bodies and has forced many young people to carry pregnancy that they are just not ready for,” Kitaba said.
Then, in a June 23 Detroit News article, we heard a different story. ACLU Michigan Spokeswoman Dana Chicklas denied that the amendment would restrict parental consent laws:
She added that nothing in the proposed amendment would prevent a minor’s parents from being involved with their abortion, sterilization or reproductive decisions. But nothing in the amendment would require that involvement either.
“It would make sure that young people can get the safe and confidential health care they need, rather than leaving them isolated and turning to the internet for answers out of embarrassment or fear,” Chicklas said.
Maybe the ACLU Michigan should read their own amendment?