From Susan Masten, co-president, Lansing Area NOW:
Action alert! The House Health Policy Committee will be having a hearing on three extreme anti-abortion bills on Thursday, June 7 at 9 a.m. in 519 House Office Building, 124 N. Capitol Ave., Lansing. The bills were introduced last Thursday. The bills are HB 5711, HB 5712, and HB 5713, the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.” There may be a vote on these extensive bills at the hearing this Thursday.
The pro-choice women’s rights organizations including Michigan NOW urge you to contact your House member, especially if she or he is a member of the House Health Policy Committee, to urge a NO vote on these bills. See below for the names and contact information for the Committee. If you can attend the hearing it would be tremendous. We need to show Lansing legislators that we will not be silent while they trample on our reproductive health care rights.
The bills that will amend the public health and criminal code in numerous extreme ways:
- 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 surface. Michigan women facing this situation would have to leave the state for treatment.
- Requires that offices providing 6 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 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.
House Health Policy Committee Members to contact:
Gail Haines (R), Committee Chair, 43rd District, Waterford
Mike Callton (R), Majority Vice-Chair, 87th District, Nashville
Paul E. Opsommer (R), 93rd District, Dewitt
Kenneth Kurtz (R), 58th District, Coldwater
Wayne A. Schmidt (R), 104th District, Traverse City
Michael Shirkey (R), 65th District, Clark Lake
Thomas B. Hooker (R), 77th District, Byron Center
Matt Huuki (R), 110th District, Atlantic Mine
Paul Muxlow (R), 83rd District, Brown City
Ken Yonker (R), 72nd District, Caledonia
Holly Hughes (R), 91st District, Montague
Joseph Graves (R), 51st District, Argentine Township
Lesia Liss (D), Minority Vice-Chair, 28th District, Warren
Thomas Stallworth III (D), 8th District, Detroit
George T. Darany (D), 15th District, Dearborn
Kate Segal (D), 62nd District, Battle Creek
James Womack (D), 7th District, Detroit
Marcia Hovey-Wright (D), 92nd District, Muskegon
Tim Greimel (D), 29th District, Auburn Hills, Pontiac
Or go to www.house.mi.gov/mhrpublic/frmFindARep.aspx to find your Michigan House member.