California voters are now deciding if Prop 1 – a study in deceptive wording – will become law. If passed, Prop 1 would amend the state’s constitution to make California a sanctuary state for killing the unborn. The operative part of the law reads as follows:

“The state shall not deny or interfere with an individual’s reproductive freedom in their most- intimate decisions, which includes their fundamental right to choose to have an abortion and their fundamental right to choose or refuse contraceptives.”

Notice the wording: an “individual’s reproductive freedom,” “intimate decisions…”

Doesn’t that sound nice? Who would want to “deny” or “interfere” with these?  However, the drafters make clear that reproductive freedom, at the very least, means “the right to have an abortion…” What’s not clear is what else might be meant by the choice of the words: “individual,” “reproductive freedom,” and “intimate decisions”? Why this wording? The drafters are deliberately vague as to their intended meaning.

Apart from sensible limits on terminating late-term pregnancies, abortion is already a legal right in California, Dobbs notwithstanding. Prop 1, however, would remove not only these sensible limits, but all limits.

What else might the language allow?

In their legal memorandum warning of the implications of Prop 1, Alliance Defending Freedom offers some valuable insights. Here are a few of their conclusions of what Californian’s might see should Prop 1 pass. The measure could:

  • “Allow men to avoid child support payments,”
  • “Force the state to procure women to be surrogate mothers,”
  • “Allow children to remove healthy reproductive organs without parental knowledge or consent.”

Since “reproductive freedom” is an undefined term, its meaning is elastic and will be subject to desired interpretations by special interests and activist courts. As ADF warns,

“[R]eproductive 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.”

ADF further warns that,

“[t]he creation of a right for every “individual” includes not only pregnant adult women, but also minors and men.”

Under Prop 1, minors would have unfettered access to abortion. Men could assert their right, under “reproductive freedom,” to refuse to provide child support. They might also demand that an unwanted pregnancy by a current or former partner be terminated.  Rights of conscience, as when nurses or doctors resist performing abortions, are certain to come under fire. There are other consequences ADF predicts that readers are encouraged to explore.

Will Californian’s be taken in by the language of Prop 1? Will they pass this deceptive miscarriage of justice? We shall soon know; but the state has a shameful history of making harmful choices pertaining to its most fragile citizens. The graphic below illustrates a partial list of laws passed in California that harm children, directly and indirectly, going all the way back to Gray Davis.

The important difference this time is that Prop 1 will be decided, not by the people’s elected representatives, as were the laws in the graphic, but by “The People” directly.

Pray they decide wisely.