The massive omnibus anti-abortion bill steamrolling its way through the Michigan legislature is expected to come up for a vote in the House on Thursday, signaling just how serious Republicans in the state are about attacking women’s rights.
HB 5711 was introduced on May 31 and cleared the House Committee on Health Policy last week. The bill brings together as one a number of previously introduced anti-abortion bills that failed to pass. The bill would also amend Michigan’s Public Health code to restrict and regulate abortion in the state with the key motivating factor to regulate the procedure out of existence.
Among the new proposed restrictions are new insurance and licensing requirements for clinics that perform abortions, a ban on abortions bast 20 weeks, a provision that makes it a crime to “coerce” a woman into having an abortion, new guidelines on disposing of fetal remains and regulations around prescribing RU-486.
The bill is being heavily promoted by the Michigan Catholic Conference as a way to “protect” women despite the fact that it is designed to make accessing health care more expensive, complicated and in some instances criminal.
Opponents of the bill see its unwieldy nature and conflicting language as signs the measure is ultimately headed for defeat. But should it pass and get signed into law, the bill will no doubt face legal challenges.
The omnibus bill will be considered with two smaller companion bills that also address preventing “coerced abortions.” No word yet on when Michigan Republicans plan to take up a measure preventing “coerced pregnancies.”
Photo from CedarBendDrive via flickr.
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