Notre Dame law prof backs Michigan pro-life amendment

Nationally renowned legal scholar and abortion
foe calls amendment “prudent, timely, and positive”

Notre Dame law professor backs Michigan’s
Prenatal Child Protection Amendment

Endorsement lauded by Michigan family values group

SOUTH BEND, Indiana — Professor Charles E. Rice of Notre Dame University, a nationally renowned legal scholar and abortion foe, Wednesday endorsed a proposed amendment to the Michigan constitution to ban nearly all abortions by extending the state constitution’s guarantee of due process and equal protection of the law to all persons from the moment of conception.

* See Rice biography at Notre Dame web site

* See Charles Rice endorsement letter for full text of Rice endorsement letter

Rice’s endorsement of the Prenatal Child Protection Amendment was welcomed by a statewide family values group that was one of the proposal’s earliest backers.

“On the question of protecting the lives of prenatal children, there is no more respected or authoritative constitutional and legal scholar in America than Professor Charles E. Rice of Notre Dame,” said American Family Association of Michigan President Gary Glenn.

“In light of Professor Rice’s legal analysis and endorsement of the amendment, and the obviously growing coalition supporting it, we urge churches and organizations and politicians still cautiously standing on the sidelines to embrace the courage of their convictions and join AFA-Michigan in working to put constitutional protection for the lives of prenatal children on our November ballot,” Glenn said.

Michigan Citizens for Life, the officially registered ballot campaign committee, must submit at least 317,757 valid signatures of Michigan voters to state election officials by early July to qualify for the November ballot.

Rice, in an April 19 letter to Richard Thompson, president and chief legal counsel for the Thomas More Law Center in Ann Arbor, called the proposal “prudent, timely, and positive.”

“The proposal also explicitly affirms the right to life of the unborn child as a ‘person’ under the Michigan Constitution,” Rice wrote.

“The proposal is an important step forward in the effort to restore legal protection for the right to life of all human beings,” Rice wrote. “And the time is right for such an initiative. The increased public concern about abortion, in light of advancing knowledge, makes this an appropriate time to present to the newly configured Supreme Court a clear and measured enactment, such as this proposal, to invite the Court to address the issue.”

The Thomas More Law Center, which serves as legal counsel for Right to Life of Michigan on other legal matters, had previously endorsed the proposed constitutional amendment, calling its success “vitally important if we are to insure that Michigan becomes a pro-life state after Roe v. Wade is overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.”

The Michigan Republican Party State Central Committee earlier this month unanimously approved a resolution urging support for the amendment.

If approved by voters in November, the proposal would add the following language to the Michigan constitution:

“The right to due process, whereby no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, and the right to equal protection of the law, vest at conception. A ‘person’, for purposes of the Constitution and laws of the State of Michigan, exists from the moment of conception.”

For a full list of organizations endorsing the proposed amendment, see Michigan Citizens for Life web site at:

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