Medical Choice initiative would NOT aid abortion in any way

Clint Bolick from the Goldwater Institute, an attorney who helped draft Prop. 101, has written a piece explaining to prolifers that it would not affect abortion – affect the ability to get an abortion, pass legislation restricting abortion, etc. Even the opponents of Prop. 101 acknowledge the initiative would not affect abortion positively or negatively in any way. It was written carefully to avoid addressing abortion.


by Clint Bolick

Arizonans have a chance to take a giant step to protect their freedom. Proposition 101—the Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act—would prohibit schemes that would give government greater control over our health care decisions.

Some pro-life activists have expressed concerns about the initiative, but a careful reading makes clear the concerns are unfounded. I provided legal advice to the initiative’s drafters, and such concerns were foremost in my mind every step of the way. Moreover, the sponsors, whose intent is central to judicial interpretation, have made clear that the measure affects the life issue not at all.

Prop. 101 would amend the Constitution to prohibit schemes, which have been swirling around the state, that would restrict individuals’ “freedom of choice of private health care systems or private plans of any type,” the “right to pay directly for lawful medical services,” or the freedom to participate or not in health insurance programs.

The initiative would not force the government to pay for anything. It would not restrict or expand the medical procedures that health insurance companies may choose to cover. Because it preserves the right of individuals to pay directly for “lawful” medical services, it does not limit in any way the right of the people or our representatives to define what services are or are not lawful.

The measure simply prohibits the government from compelling people to join a health insurance system or plan—which is the central element in all socialized medicine schemes.

Indeed, although the initiative is neutral on the issue of abortion, if it passes it will create a firewall against a government-mandated one-size-fits-all health insurance system, which will limit the power of government to dictate what medical services—like abortion—must be paid for by taxpayer funds. Perhaps that is why the Arizona chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) officially opposes Prop. 101 and submitted a ballot pamphlet argument against it.

Arizonans have a long tradition of protecting their freedom. Politicians at the national and state levels want to dictate our health insurance choices. Prop. 101 would take the matter out of their hands and keep it in ours.
Clint Bolick is director of the Goldwater Institute Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation.


  1. “Indeed, although the initiative is neutral on the issue of abortion, if it passes it will create a firewall against a government-mandated one-size-fits-all health insurance system, which will limit the power of government to dictate what medical services—like abortion—must be paid for by taxpayer funds.”

    Yet still keep abortions legal?!?!?

  2. Matt- Prop 101 is vitally important. I am pro-life, very.

    I do not want a mandated government run health care system to even be a possibility.

    Prop 101 protects vital individual rights- let’s win here and THEN address the basic issue of the ‘legality’ of abortion– a right that is not in any way curtailed by this initiative.

  3. I hear you, tom, loud and clear…but what do you think will happen when this issue ends up in our Arizona “courts” system?!!?!?

  4. I think that the plain language of Prop 101 — “lawful medical services” will be clear.

    I think that the plain language that expressly does not require anyone or anything to pay for any particular services will be clear.

    The alternative– the slow, or not so slow– creeping toward complete government control over healthcare, however, is clear — the life protections you and I would like to see will be eroded quietly, but certainly, as bureaucrats with no accountability interpret rules without regard to even the slightest moral compass.

    If I can be so bold— if we attach every discussion of health care rights to the issue of abortion— which fundamentally is NOT a health care issue but rather a moral, justice, and criminal one — we might as well just hand the keys to the kingdom to government bureaucrats now.

    Please reconsider your opposition and vote yes.

  5. If the government takes control of heath care, you will have massive funding for planned parenthood and the government “encouraging” abortions. Don’t believe me, look at Europe.

    To vote “no” on prop 101 is to vote for abortion.

  6. Well, I don’t believe Nick S. so I looked at Europe. Per capita abortion rates in Western Europe are far below the US with an even more extreme difference seen in teen abortion rates.

  7. Again, I would not focus on the abortion issue re: Prop 101— their is no issue here.

    I understand that both Russell Pearce and Len Munsil — 2 pro-life advocates I trust — are also endorsing Prop 101.

  8. This is a wonderful example of why the I&R process is out of control. Seemingly benign language has implications far beyond what any of us can reasonably see. The language is drafted by proponents only, with an end in mind. They offer seemingly generous and inarguable rationale and dismiss criticisms of potential implications with a “tut, tut”, until after it has passed, when they use the language like a hammer. I vote no. Run a bill. Debate the language. But leave the Arizona Constitution alone and don’t muck it up (any more than it already has been).

  9. Jack– voting NO will get us the same absurdities in health care we are seeing in the mortgage debacle.

    Vote YES to protect our rights FROM the bureaucrats and big special interests.

  10. Oh yes. Those guys. Man they do so many nasty things. Actually, I’m convinced that the initiative process is now the preferred route of the Big Special Interests….

  11. Jack – you are absolutely right. These Goldwater people don’t want to really explain what the bill does so they couch everything in feel good language.

  12. supporters of Prop 101: individuals, patients and families

    Opponents: big government bureaucrats (Tony Rodgers and Janet Napolitano), mega insurance companies with government contracts, and ideologues who only want a complete government run health care system.

    And Tony Rodgers and his cronies can’t even do it legally — they are using taxpayer funds to fight the right of people to make their own health care decisions.

    In fact, my guess is Jack and Todd work for the government thugs that are masterminding the no campaign.

  13. “masterminding”? Hah! I have no involvement with any campaign. I have a real problem with giving power to Initiative authors and taking it away from elected officials I can see and hold accountable. Same for all the other initiatives. 101 is among the most opaque and far reaching.

  14. I work for no campaign either. Paranoid much?

  15. I really liked your opinion! I look forward to more insightful info.

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