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Rendon’s HB 5711 is the first bill in the state to roll so many abortion restrictions into one package, threatening to create serious barriers to abortion access for both abortion-seeking women and abortion providers in one fell swoop.

Written by Angi Becker Stevens for RH Reality Check. This diary is cross-posted; commenters wishing to engage directly with the author should do so at the original post.


In Michigan, Republican State House Representative Bruce Rendon has introduced an anti-abortion “super bill”—one piece of legislation that includes protocol for screening women for coercion prior to an abortion, along with several TRAP laws including new liability insurance requirements for abortion providers, the regulation of abortion clinics as surgical facilities, and new restrictions on the disposal of fetal remains. The bill would also require the presence of a physician for medication abortion — a particularly damaging regulation in a state where 82 percent of counties have no abortion provider, and many women in rural areas rely on the safe and effective tele-med prescription of medical abortion.

Each of these new restrictions has already been proposed in a separate bill in the Michigan House and Senate; the hypocritical “anti-coercion” legislation, for example, has already passed through the House and is now awaiting a Senate vote. And a bill that would create new regulations on the disposal of fetal remains has been criticized for the potential trauma it would cause for women experiencing miscarriage. But Rendon’s HB 5711 is the first bill in the state to roll so many abortion restrictions into one package, threatening to create in one fell swoop serious barriers for both women in need of abortion care and abortion providers. Packaged with the bill, HB 5713 sets forth sentencing guidelines for violations of the new regulations, and also includes a prohibition on all abortions after 20 weeks in all cases except when it is necessary to save a life.

Additionally troubling is the speed at which HB 5711 appears to be moving through the legislative process. Many of Michigan’s anti-choice bills have languished for months without being brought before a committee; the Senate bill regarding the disposal of fetal remains was assigned to the committee on health policy back in October of 2011, a bill prohibiting the tele-med prescription of medical abortion has been awaiting an appearance before the same committee since last June. But HB 5711 was introduced on May 31st -- ironically, and perhaps not coincidentally, the anniversary of Dr. Tiller’s assassination — and is already scheduled to be discussed by the House committee on health policy on Thursday, June 7th. It is likely that the Republican-majority committee will recommend the bill favorably, and that it will be rapidly headed for a House vote.

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Comment Preferences

  •  i see a bunch of these heading for the Supreme.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pandoras Box, Sylv, terabytes

    ... Court just as quickly as we can take them there.

    And I see these things being passed now in the hope by the righties that the Court will be packed with Romney appointees who will just overturn Roe entirely and be done with it.  

    GOTV as if your life depends on it.

    "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

    by G2geek on Thu Jun 07, 2012 at 12:49:06 PM PDT

  •  Mealy-mouthed reply from my (R) rep (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chicagobleu, Sylv, terabytes
    Thank you for contacting me with your thoughts on House Bills 5711, 5712, and 5713.  I will certainly note your opposition to these bills, but I have offered my support for many of the reforms contained within this legislation in the past and I will likely be offering my support for these three bills when they come before the House of Representatives.  I want to clarify a misconception, which is that this legislation prevents women from accessing reproductive health care services or prevents doctors from using their medical judgment.  

    The two main purposes of this legislation are protecting women from being coerced into having an abortion and ensuring that remains of unborn babies are properly disposed of in a medically appropriate way that protects the public's health.  You may disagree with the effort to criminalize coercing someone to have an abortion (this issue was never directly mentioned in your original e-mail), but I think that protecting women from threats of violence or financial harm is a worthwhile public policy goal.  In addition, I think there is a very real public interest in ensuring that remains of unborn babies are disposed of in a way that is consistent with the handling of other human tissue.  Leaving behind the rhetoric that often surrounds this issue, these bills seek to accomplish very specific goals that I believe the majority of my district supports, which is why I will likely offer my support.

    Andrea LaFontaine

    I saw red when I read this and must admit that my reply was civil but scathing.  How stupid does she think you have to be to believe her justifications for these bills?  I called her on it...and rather doubt that I'll get any more replies as a result.
  •  Of course we'll hear complaints (0+ / 0-)

    from people in Michigan - the same idiots who voted for these Republicans

    Still not to worry - "them thar gays" can't get married - isn't that the only thing those knuckledragging, buybull thumping, oh so full of family values Midwesterners care about

    •  This helps how? EOM (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      •  Did I say it was meant to help ? (0+ / 0-)

        I just have zero tolerance for "family values" midwesterners who vote for idiot Republicans because they hate equality for gays etc, then whine when stuff like this happens

        Oh sorry, occasionally they're real progressive and vote for ConservaDems (mention no names BArt Stupak)

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