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In A Gretchen Whitmer Michigan, Expect More Smut In Schools And More Lies About Abortion

If Republicans are wise, they will use these two issues to expose Whitmer for the extremist she is.

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Michigan Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Republican challenger Tudor Dixon dueled Tuesday night in the second and final debate before voters cast their ballots in less than two weeks. With the latest poll showing likely voters evening split between the candidates, two missteps by the incumbent may have handed Dixon the election.

Whitmer Puts Sexually Explicit Books over Kids

For weeks Whitmer avoided stating her position on whether sexually explicit books should be accessible in Michigan’s taxpayer-funded public school libraries. As I wrote on Tuesday, the moderators should push the governor to announce her view on the issue, and they did, asking Dixon first her position.

“What I’ve heard from parents from across the state,” Dixon began, is that they are outraged about inappropriate sexual content in school libraries and they have risen up. These are not textbooks helping children understand themselves, Dixon stressed, but are books “describing to children how to have sex.” And such books “should not be in our classrooms.” “I stand with those parents,” Dixon continued, “that want to make sure we go back to the basics of reading, writing, and math in our schools.” 

In response, Whitmer pretended the issue was about making “sure all children feel accepted and safe.” She then portrayed Dixon’s support of parents demanding sexually explicit books be removed from school libraries as “waging a fight” for political purposes and “trying to wedge communities against one another.” 

Dixon countered simply, “Well, I guess we’ve received the answer now: She is not going to stand with parents on this issue who are crying out across the state.” 

While Whitmer’s answer was predictable to those familiar with her far-left policies, with the Democrat governor now on the record on the issue, Dixon’s team has a perfect closing argument for parents concerned by the sexualization of children in schools: Tudor stands with the moms and dads who want to return to the basics of reading, writing, and math, while Whitmer wants smut in schools. 

And this issue resonates broadly, far beyond Tudor’s conservative base, including the Democrat stronghold of Dearborn, the sixth most populous city in the state.

Whitmer Lies About Proposition 3

Abortion proved another tripwire for Whitmer, but not because of her extreme position, which she continues to hide. Rather, Whitmer unwittingly made parental consent an issue by lying about Proposition 3. 

Proposition 3, which is officially named the “Right to Reproductive Freedom” but is colloquially called the “abortion amendment,” will be on the ballot along with the governor’s contest, leading the moderators to query the candidates about their views on the proposal. 

During Tuesday’s debate, Whitmer told voters that “Prop 3 is absolutely necessary to preserve the rights we’ve had for 49 years under Roe v. Wade,” adding that “parental rights and consent will still be effective,” and claiming that “the other side will say all sorts of wild-eye things that are not true.”

Dixon countered that Prop 3 is “not even close to Roe” and that “it would be the most radical abortion law in the entire country.” The Republican challenger further stressed that “we know that Proposal 3 does remove parental consent.” 

In rebuttal, Whitmer insisted, “None of what she just said is true.”

But every word Dixon spoke is true, and the text of Prop 3 proves Whitmer is lying to voters about how extreme the abortion amendment is. 

Prop 3, which if passed, would be added to Article 1, Section 28 of the Michigan constitution, provides: 

“(1) Every individual has a fundamental right to reproductive freedom, which entails the right to make and effectuate decisions about all matters relating to pregnancy, including but not limited to prenatal care, childbirth, postpartum care, contraception, sterilization, abortion care, miscarriage management, and infertility care. An individual’s right to reproductive freedom shall not be denied, burdened, nor infringed upon unless justified by a compelling state interest achieved by the least restrictive means. …

(2) The state shall not discriminate in the protection or enforcement of this fundamental right. …

(4) For the purposes of this section:

A state interest is “compelling” only if it is for the limited purpose of protecting the health of an individual seeking care, consistent with accepted clinical standards of practice and evidence-based medicine, and does not infringe on that individual’s autonomous decision-making. …

By its express terms, Prop 3 applies to “every individual” and guarantees an “individual’s right.” The proposed constitutional amendment further provides that “the state shall not discriminate in the protection or enforcement of this fundamental right.” 

As a matter of constitutional interpretation, then, the rights guaranteed by Prop 3 would apply equally to women and girls as both are “individuals,” and Prop 3 prohibits the state from discriminating in the protection or enforcement of the rights. Thus, if passed, the state could not discriminate in its regulation of abortion based on the age of the pregnant female.

Further, as a constitutional amendment, Prop 3 would trump conflicting state law, which in the case of abortions means Michigan’s current parental consent law would be invalid. And as I previously explained:

Section 4 of the amendment further cements the reality that minors must be treated equivalent to adults for purposes of the rights Prop 3 would establish. That section of the proposed amendment expressly limits the justifications allowed for regulating abortion or the other rights Prop 3 would inscribe in the constitution. 

Under Section 4, the state may only regulate abortion and the other rights covered by the proposed constitutional amendment if it is necessary to ‘protect[] the health of an individual seeking care,’ and ‘does not infringe on that individual’s autonomous decision-making.’

In short, the rights of parents do not matter under Section 4; all that matters is the girl’s health and her “individual’s autonomous decision-making.” And because parental consent laws would clearly conflict with the girl’s autonomous decision-making, they would be stricken.

While political debates often involve spin and some circumventing of the truth, Whitmer’s lie is so blatant, it merits a fact-check. And if the press refuses to call the governor out for her lie, political action committees will likely fill the airwaves with the truth in the closing days of the campaign, harming both Whitmer’s chances and the chances of Prop 3 passing.

Whether these two debate takeaways push Dixon into the lead remains to be seen, but if Republicans are wise, they will use the issues to expose Whitmer for the extremist she is.


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