Roughly 40 anti-choice bills are in various stages of making their way through the Michigan legislature. The Democrats do not have enough votes to stop or even slow them down. since the GOP holds unassailable majorities in both houses of the Michigan legislature, the Attorney General’s office and a majority of the Michigan Supreme Court. It is also likely that Governor Rick Snyder will sign them.
The bills attack a woman’s right to choose from various directions. The bills you see being voted out of committee in the opening of the first video are the “abortion coercion” legislation that would make it a criminal offense for a physician to terminate the pregnancy of a woman if she was coerced into having the procedure. Others – parents, spouses, partners – could also be jailed for inducing someone to end a pregnancy, with penalties particularly severe if the “victim” is a minor. Other bills, the so-called “fetal remains” legislation, would require that woman who chooses to terminate a pregnancy must be asked in advance whether she wants the remains cremated or buried. Various personhood acts and amendments focus on enshrining life at conception, not only threatening the right to an abortion but potentially in vitro fertilization and hormonal birth control.
The video above offers a summary and analysis of pending bills in Michigan from Mary Pollock, legislative liaison for the Michigan chapter of NOW, the National Organization for Women. The second video is a speech by Rebekah Warren (D-Ann Arbor) about what it is like for her to battle back against these bills in the Michigan legislature. The third summarizes much of the town hall meeting community conversation on women’s that Sam Singh, candidate for the Democratic nomination for Michigan’s 69th House district, held at Hannah Center.
NOTE: Lansing Online News is devoted to transparency, so you should know that I (Bonnie Bucqueroux) was recently named co-president of the Lansing Area NOW chapter. My goal is to cover such issues fairly, but this will explain the emphasis on these issues and the focus of our coverage.