Earlier this year, when the Supreme Court released its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Ecology Center released a statement expressing our sadness and anger, but more importantly, our commitment to stand with and demonstrate our solidarity with groups dedicated to health equity and reproductive rights. Today we are continuing that commitment by endorsing Michigan’s Proposal 3.
Both environmental justice and reproductive justice include the right to make decisions about what happens to one’s own body, to make health care decisions, to decide where one lives or travels, and the right to not be poisoned by the air you breathe or the water you drink, and they definitely include the right to decide when and whether or not to have a child.
The communities that face disproportionate burdens from air and water pollution, unhealthy homes, and detrimental impacts from climate change are the same communities that already face higher rates of maternal and infant mortality. Additionally, we know that environmental hazards contribute to reproductive complications, including preeclampsia, birth defects, and infertility. The elimination of access to safe, legal abortion care will result in further disparities as these community members will be less likely to be able afford the cost and time off necessary to travel out of state for health care, resulting in being forced to choose between carrying a potentially unhealthy child to term or risking their own health by having an unsafe abortion. Reproductive justice and environmental justice are inextricably linked.
Proposal 3 affirms that every person has the fundamental right to reproductive freedom. It ensures that all Michiganders have the right to make and carry out decisions without governmental interference about all matters relating to pregnancy, including birth control, abortion, prenatal care, and childbirth.
The Ecology Center is a non-partisan organization centered on health and justice. We encourage everyone who shares our position to join us in supporting Proposal 3.