The Michigan House has passed HB 5711, the nation’s most restrictive anti-abortion bill that combines some of the worst attacks on women’s access to abortion care into one bill. The massive 45-page, Republican-backed legislation limits when a woman could have an abortion and puts a greater, unnecessary burden on abortion providers.
Opponents have loudly protested against the measure that has been jammed through the legislature — it was introduced on May 31 and a committee approved it last week — and Democratic lawmakers spoke out against it before the House passed the bill 70-39. “This bill is not about protecting women’s health,” said state Rep. Kate Segal (D).
Here’s what you should know about these far-reaching anti-abortion bills:
1) Bans Abortions After 20 Weeks, Even For Rape And Incest Victims: A woman would not be able to have an abortion after 20 weeks of gestation based on the widely disputed idea that a fetus can feel pain after that point. The only exception would be if a woman’s life was in danger.
2) Transforms Doctors Into Detectives: The Republican-backed legislation would make it a crime for anyone to coerce a woman into having an abortion. Doctors will have to give their patients a questionnaire to inform them of the illegality of coercion and determine if the woman had been coerced or is the victim of domestic abuse before the abortion procedure.
3) Limits Access For Rural Women: Under the omnibus bill, doctors would have to be physically present to perform a medical abortion, thus preventing a doctor from administering abortion-inducing medication by consulting via telephone or internet. This would especially hurt rural women, who may have to travel hours to meet in-person with a specialist.
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