Michigan Senate Passes Harsh Anti-Choice Bill

With all the attention being paid to the Republican-dominated Michigan legislature trying to destroy labor unions with their “right to work” law, it may slip under the radar that the Senate just passed one of the nation’s harshest anti-choice laws:

The Michigan State Senate passed HB 5711, an omnibus anti-abortion bill that sparked widespread protests over the summer when it was first considered in the House, by a 27-10 vote on Wednesday afternoon. The legislation has been stalled since it passed Michigan’s House in June.

The measure represents one of the nation’s most far-reaching abortion restrictions. When Michigan lawmakers first took up HB 5711 over the summer, hundreds of protesters rallied against the massive 45-page, GOP-sponsored legislation. 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.

As is true of all such bills passed around the country, the goal is to put abortion providers out of business through a variety of tactics and to deprive women in the state of control of their own reproductive health. The Republicans in the legislature are trying to ram through as many horrible bills as they can during the current lame-duck session with little debate and little recourse once they’re passed.

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  • We have eight more years of this kind of stuff.

  • Michael Heath


    What happens in eight years?

  • weaver

    Census, and re-gerrymandering.

  • Yep, what Weaver said. Districts will be re-drawn according to the census in 2020. The party in power at the time (in 2010 it was Republicans) have the ability to change the voting landscape. Rachel Maddow had an awesome report on it last week.

  • Olav

    Funny. I had somehow assumed Michigan was one of the more reasonable places in the US.

  • Artor

    Olav, you haven’t been paying attention. Michigan has been taken over by fascist wingnuts. It’s pretty amazingly bad there.

  • slc1

    This should be a wake up call to those who don’t realize that elections have consequences. Those folks who stayed home in 2010 sowed the seeds for this crap and are now reaping the consequences.

  • iknklast

    slc1: Everyone I know says, oh, but one vote can’t make a difference. Very true. But all those votes together reach critical mass. People should not only go vote, they should take their friends with them. Make it a party.

  • baal

    Wisconsin and Michigan have been on quite a tear trying to become Mississippi and Alabama.

  • joeina2

    I feel as though Michigan was a really reasonable state, or at least a stay-home conservative kind of state, the kind where people say “its your life, sinner”. Since the Tea Party, however, its come out hard for crazy conservatism.

    I don’t think conservatism is even the right word. There are people who advocate slow, gradual change and whatnot that are reasonable people. This isn’t conservatism, its privileged people thrashing at their (small) loss of privilege.

    Unless we’re all just operating under the assumption that “conservatism” means “protecting white, male, christian hegemony, pick at least two”.

  • I’ve been calling the idiots in Lansing “social regressives” when I write my complaints to them. It fits better with the bills they are passing.

  • Olav

    Artor, #6, it is certainly possible that I havn’t been paying close enough attention to Michigan. I usually try to keep an eye on the USA from quite a (hopefully safe) distance away, so the finer differences between the various states may sometimes escape my notice. Nevertheless I did think about Michigan in the way Joeina2 describes.

    I guess it is once again time to update my prejudices.

  • Look, Ed Brayton, if the Founding Fathers wanted unfettered, unregulated vaginas, they would’ve put them in the Bill of Rights. You know, like they did with M16s, Trickle-Down economics and banning gay marriage.

    joeina2 “I don’t think conservatism is even the right word.”

    “Movement Conservatism”. Movement. You know, like when you poop.

    “Unless we’re all just operating under the assumption that ‘conservatism’ means ‘protecting white, male, christian hegemony, pick at least two’.”

    When did it not mean that?

  • I believe Michigan also passed a law allowing concealed carry guns in schools, because once you’re out of the womb, it’s every man for himself, amirite?

  • Aren’t regulation on businesses bad, though?