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The next move is yours Governor. The entire world is watching.

Cross-posted from Eclectablog.

There are three bills sitting on Michigan Governor Rick Snyder's desk awaiting his signature to become law. Or, preferably, to be vetoed into the rubbish bin of Michigan history where they below. The three bills are Senate Bill 1293, Senate Bill 1294 and House Bill 5711. The three bills will make Michigan one of the (if not THE) most regressive states in the country with regard to women being able to obtain a safe, legal abortion.

I want to emphasize one of the words in the last sentence because it is very important: LEGAL.

Abortion has been legal in this country for 39 years. This medical operation to prevent a nonviable bundle of tissue cells from developing inside a woman's uterus into a human has been legal for 39 years. The anti-abortion forces in this country, not content to simply not have abortions themselves, have spend nearly four decades making access to this legal medical procedure nearly impossible. In Michigan, they are about to see this wish come true.

Think about it: what other medical procedure can you think of that has been legislated nearly out of existence despite being legal?

The New York Times has a brilliant and scathing op-ed piece today titled "An Affront to Michigan Women". It is aimed directly at Michigan Governor Rick Snyder. Here are some excerpts but I highly recommend that you read the entire thing:

Republican governor, Rick Snyder, can show real leadership and demonstrate respect for women in his state by refusing to sign these ideologically driven bills into law.

The first measure would bar insurance coverage for abortion services without the purchase of an additional “rider” at added expense. {...}

There is a single exception limited to life endangerment, but none for a woman’s health or cases of incest or rape — an omission that shows Republican lawmakers learned nothing from the public’s rejection of reprehensible attitudes toward sexual assault that led to the defeat of Republican Senate candidates in other states in November. {...}

A second measure would make it harder for reproductive health offices to stay in business by requiring facilities that provide 120 or more abortion a year to comply with new staffing, equipment and physical plant requirements, essentially regulating them as “mini-hospitals” even in the absence of a real medical or safety need...[and] would reduce access to needed abortion care as well as a variety of other essential services, like cancer screenings, to suit the agenda of opponents of abortion rights. {...}

Another damaging section in this bill would hurt low-income and rural women particularly by barring the use of medicine abortions when doctors oversee the procedure through online consultations with the patient...In other contexts, Mr. Snyder has voiced support for expanding the use of telemedicine to improve access to health care.

Mr. Snyder has already done enough to advance his party’s right-wing agenda by signing new anti-union legislation earlier this month turning Michigan into a right-to-work state. He should not follow that up by acquiescing to a retreat on women’s health and reproductive rights. He should veto the bills.

Governor Snyder has until the afternoon of Thursday, January 10, 2013 to sign the bills.

So, are you listening, Governor Snyder? The world is watching and waiting to see if you will sign these pieces of legislation into law and codify the ideological War on Women that is being fought in this country by the most extreme elements in your political party. You have a choice: side with the those who would take back women's rights to self-determination over what happens to their bodies four decades or stand with the majority of people in the country who want access to abortion services to REMAIN safe and legal.

The world is watching and waiting, Governor. What will you do?

UPDATE: Rick Snyder has vetoed SB 1293 that would have overhauled Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and which contained a provision that would have required women to purchase a separate insurance rider that would cover abortions. A second bill, SB 1294 contained a provision requiring this for BCBS insurance, as well. Since 1294 was tie-barred to 1293, both are vetoed.

However, Snyder signed HB 5711. This requires facilities conducting more than 120 abortions per year to be licensed and which, among other things, outlaws "telemedicine" to be used for medicine abortions where doctors could prescribe abortion pills via telephone, internet, or video conference. Although Snyder and his Republican colleagues raved about the advantages of telemedicine just this past summer when they passed a bill allowing it, suddenly they are against it for this particular use.

Snyder's letter explaining his decision is HERE (pdf).

[War on Women graphic by Anne C. Savage, special to Eclectablog]

Originally posted to Eclectablog - eclectic blogging for a better tomorrow on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 09:11 AM PST.

Also republished by Abortion and Pro Choice.

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