When one thinks of traditionally anti-choice states, Michigan likely doesn’t float to the top of the list. Unfortunately, that’s about to change. According to Ms. Magazine’s blog, just this week anti-choice zealots in the Michigan legislature introduced three bills designed to make abortion virtually inaccessible in the Great Lakes state.
The bills (H.B. 5711, 5712 and 5713) each represent major attacks on abortion rights, but when packaged together are an all-out blitz. They have already passed through committee and apparently, anti-choice politicos are trying to push them through the House for a full vote before the legislative session ends on June 28th.
Ms. kindly details the specifics of these bills for us. Take a look – but be warned, it’s not pretty:
HB 5713 makes it a 15-year felony to abort a fetus that is “pain capable” and defines that as occurring at 20 weeks of gestation. The effect would be to prevent abortions at 20 weeks or more unless it was to save the life of the mother with no exception to preserve the health or future fertility of the pregnant woman. Often fetal anomalies are discovered at about this time in a pregnancy, or health-threatening conditions for the mother are detected. Michigan women facing this situation would have to leave the state for treatment. Requires that offices providing six or more abortions per month be considered freestanding outpatient surgical facilities subject to extensive licensing and regulatory requirements. The effect will be to close down most Michigan clinics that provide abortions and make the remaining ones charge higher fees to pay for the over-regulation. While closing many Michigan clinics through onerous and unnecessary regulations, the bills would also prohibit use of new telecommunication technology to provide medical abortion access to women not living near an abortion facility. Requires elaborate and more expensive procedures for disposition of fetal remains, creating a new 3-year felony for violating the fetal remains procedures and permitting a civil action against anyone who violates the new fetal remains procedures. Creates a new crime called coercion to abort, linking it with the concept of domestic violence, and making abortion providers become domestic violence screening facilities rather than women’s reproductive health care providers. Prohibits doctors from using their professional judgment in the use of medical abortion drugs. Requires abortion providers to carry one million dollars in liability insurance when abortion is actually one of the safest medical procedures women experience.
Holy ridiculousness, Batman! If Michigan has its way, not only will women seeking abortions find it nearly impossible to obtain a safe and legal one, but providers will face prosecution for newly founded felonies and crimes. That is some serious shit, y’all.
If you live in Michigan, be sure to contact your representatives and tell them to defeat these bills. Politicians do not belong in the exam room!