California’s Proposition 1 “Reproductive Freedom” ballot initiative would amend California’s constitution to create a complete license to “reproductive freedom” for any “individual.” This not only includes procuring abortions at any stage of pregnancy, including the gruesome partial birth abortion procedure, but it could also allow men to avoid child support payments, force the state to procure women to be surrogate mothers, and allow children to remove healthy reproductive organs without parental knowledge or consent. The proposed amendment uses intentionally vague terms that threaten the public health, safety, and general welfare of Californians.
The amendment would endanger both mothers and their children by prohibiting common-sense limits and regulations on abortion, and it would undermine the state’s ability to protect other fundamental rights, like conscience rights of doctors and nurses to not participate in ending a human life, parental rights to raise and educate children, rights of association for hospitals and care centers to hire mission-oriented employees, the free speech right to advocate for life-affirming care, and the fundamental right to life of every human being….
“Reproductive freedom” could include any sexual activity.
At a more general level, “reproductive freedom” could mean any conduct related to sexual activity because of the relationship between sexual activity and reproduction. Forbidding any state interference of any person’s sexual activity in California would mean that any law regulating sexual conduct, including statutory rape laws and incest laws, could be subject to strict scrutiny analysis.
California’s statutory rape law makes it a crime to engage in sexual acts with a person under 18 years of age.6 California code also forbids sexual conduct between members of the same family. These laws forbid sexual activity with certain people, e.g. children and family members, and therefore they impose a limit on the “reproductive freedom” of adults and family members who want to exercise their “reproductive freedom” by engaging in sexual activity with minors or members of their own family.
While it may sound grotesque to contemplate such activities, enshrining “reproductive freedom” as a fundamental right would give criminals who violate statutory rape and incest laws a defense for their heinous acts.
“Reproductive freedom” is likely to be interpreted expansively.
For instance, it would interfere with the state’s protection of the fundamental right to conscience by requiring nurses and doctors to participate in ending human life through abortion. It would interfere with parents’ right to raise and educate their children by cutting parents out of any of their children’s medical decisions that fall under “reproductive freedom.” It would interfere with hospitals’ rights of association to hire mission-oriented employees and forbid them from maintaining policies and procedures that require staff to provide life-affirming services to their clients. It would interfere with the Californians’ right to free speech in advocating for the life of the unborn. And, of course, it would forbid policies protecting the most fundamental right, without which no other right can be exercised: the right to life….
A. Minors could have dangerous access to abortion and sterilization.
The proposed amendment would create an unprecedented right for minors to procure abortions, sterilization, and other medical procedures related to their reproductive capacities, with no ability to the state to provide regulations or rules to protect minors pursuing these procedures.
Minors could also argue that the right to reproductive freedom includes the right to sterilization and the right to undergo sterilizing gender transition surgeries that remove healthy reproductive organs. This could allow girls to demand medically unnecessary hysterectomies and mastectomies; for boys, it could include penectomies and orchidectomies. For both, the proposed amendment could create a right to access puberty blockers and hormones that affect their sexual development….
B. The amendment allows men to take advantage of “reproductive freedom.”
Just as the amendment would create a right for women to decide whether they become a parent, it would also give that same right to men. Giving men a right to “reproductive freedom” could hurt mothers and their children by undermining state laws that require men to provide child support. For example, a man who never intended to father a child despite engaging in sexual activity could object to his partner’s pregnancy, even demanding that she abort the child. If the woman keeps the child and demands child support, the man could appeal to his right to reproductive freedom to avoid paying for such support.
The above comes from an Oct. 19 Legal Memorandum issued by Alliance Defending Freedom.