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.