Michigan Legislature passes harsh abortion restrictions

Two bills that would limit abortions move forward in the state

Published December 13, 2012 6:13PM (EST)

Fresh off passing a right-to-work law and considering a ban on Shariah, the Michigan state Legislature also passed two harsh new measures to restrict abortions in the state.

From the Detroit Free-Press:

One bill passed the Senate, 27-10, and calls for more stringent licensing of abortion clinics; the other, passed out of the House insurance committee into the full House, would allow health care providers to refuse service based on moral objections, religious reasons or matters of conscience.

Both must be voted on by the full House.

Two bills already on Snyder’s desk would limit abortion coverage on policies sold on a statewide health insurance exchange unless consumers purchase it as an add-on. The exchange is a Web-based marketplace where consumers will be able to buy insurance as health care reform takes full effect in 2014.

“Those three issues were our top issues: conscience, insurance and regulation and reform,” Ed Rivet, a spokesman for Michigan Right to Life, told the Free-Press. “That we’re doing them all simultaneously is pretty remarkable."

The bill that passed out of the state Senate stalled after it passed out of the House over the summer, as protesters swarmed Lansing to rally against the bill.

From ThinkProgress, a run-down of what it would do:

HB 5711 would impose a host of new restrictions on women seeking to terminate a pregnancy — such as requiring doctors to prove that their patients haven’t been “coerced” into having the procedure, limiting abortion access for women in rural areas, and imposing guidelines for disposing of fetal remains in the same way that the state disposes of dead bodies. The legislation also seeks to mandate unnecessarily and complicated regulations that could force the state’s abortion clinics out of business.

"House Bill 5711 is vague, poorly written and will have incredibly serious ramifications for women," Meghan Groen, government relations director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan, told the Detroit News. "This legislation undermines women's access to health care and gives politicians, not doctors, control over personal medical decisions."

By Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at jrayfield@salon.com.

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Abortion Anti-abortion Movement Michigan Republicans Rick Snyder