Michigan lawmakers seek to end partial-birth abortion ban, protection for abortion survivors, and more

Lawmakers in Michigan are looking to expand the state’s pro-abortion policies even further with the introduction of a pro-abortion package that would repeal a number of informed consent measures and protections for women — including removing mandatory waiting periods, eliminating safety regulations for abortion facilities, and requiring Medicaid to pay for abortions.

The pro-abortion package consists of 11 bills collected in what is being called the Reproductive Health Act (RHA). Among the bills are those that would:

  • Eliminate a statewide ban on partial-birth abortions
  • Remove the informed consent process and a mandatory 24-hour waiting period prior to abortion
  • Repeal certain structural mandates for abortion facilities
  • Repeal manslaughter penalties associated with abortion
  • Allow public universities to refer students for abortions
  • Repeal a ban on state funds being used for abortions
  • Repeal a born-alive infant protection law
  • Repeal a law requiring the humane disposal of preborn remains
  • Repeal abortion reporting laws

The Michigan Coalition to Protect a Woman’s Right to Know, a coalition of groups consisting of Right to Life, the Michigan Catholic Conference, Protect Life Michigan, and others, released a statement Thursday in which it expressed its “strong opposition” to the RHA, noting, “Our state legislators are elected to represent the will of Michiganders, not impose a dangerous, ideologically driven agenda on citizens.”

“This is a matter of life and death, and it’s clear from polling that Michiganders and Americans have different beliefs on the morality of abortion,” said Christen Pollo, executive director of Protect Life Michigan. “Using tax dollars to support something so controversial is problematic to many voters.”

However, Sarah Wallett, chief medical operating officer for Planned Parenthood of Michigan, is arguing that since Michigan passed a law enshrining a “right” to abortion in the state’s constitution through Prop 3, the state should now do more to expand abortion.

“Michiganders overwhelmingly supported Prop 3 and passed it in November, but on the ground, what patients experienced didn’t change with that,” she said. “Patients are still required to follow unnecessary, arbitrary things that do nothing to improve their health care because they’re written into state law — things like a mandatory waiting period, mandatory information from the state,” she told Bridge Michigan. “All of those things need to go away for Michiganders to really experience the reproductive freedom that they were promised with the passage of Prop 3.”

The legislative package is still in the early stages and went through an initial House committee hearing last Thursday. According to Michigan Radio, Governor Gretchen Whitmer has indicated that the RHA is one of her priorities, and she has called on the Legislature to pass it before the end of the year.

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