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Testimony

Anti-Choice Legislation in the Michigan Legislature, 3-14-2012

Anti-Abortion Bills in the Michigan Legislature
As of 3-14-2012 (from Planned Parenthood and Michigan NOW)
with bill numbers, descriptions, links, legislative intent and status.

BILL

LEGISLATIVE INTENT

1

Defunding
HB 5242 (Hooker)prohibits the State of Michigan to allocate state funds through grants or contracts with health care providers that refer or provide for abortion care.

Status: House Committee on Appropriations.

Defunds Planned Parenthood from receiving state & federal funds which would include:

  • Any state & federal pregnancy prevention funding.
  • HIV testing/treatment grants.
  • Education grants.

2

Fetal Remains
SB 25, 54 & 55 (Jones)/HB 4119 & 4120 (Potvin) requires fetal remains to be disposed of in the same manner as a human body instead of medical waste as under current law.

Status:  Passed the Senate on 10/20/11; referred to House Health Policy.

Fiscal burden on physicians and health centers that perform abortion services, including hospitals.

3

Health Insurance Ban
HB 4776 (Tyler), HB 4143 & 4147 (Gilbert) prohibits the state insurance exchange AND any private insurance plan from covering abortion services.

SB 612, 613, & 614 (Jansen) prohibits the state insurance exchange AND any private insurance plan from covering abortion services.

Status:  Senate bills passed out of committee on 12/7/11. House bills referred to House Committee on Health Policy.

Restricts access to abortion services.

Prevents women from purchasing insurance that covers the full range of reproductive health care services.

Most insurance plans currently cover abortion care, this would deny women health benefits they currently have.

There are no exemptions for rape, incest, health and fetal anomaly.

Gov. Engler vetoed similar legislation in 2001.

4

Liability Insurance for Physicians
SB 876 (Colbeck) amends the public health code to require physicians carry a minimum $1 million liability coverage if they perform 5 or more abortions per month AND has been subject to 2 or more civil suits in the past 7 years or has been found noncompliant with health & safety requirements or has received sanctions.

Status:
Referred to Senate Committee on Finance.

Increase liability on physicians that provide abortion care.

Singles out physicians that provide abortion care.

5

License Plate
SB 600 (Colbeck) (S-2)/ HB 4824 (LeBlanc) requires the Secretary of State to develop and issue a Choose Life fund-raising plate. The donations will be disbursed into a proposed “Choose Life Fund”. Funds disbursed will be to agencies providing pregnancy counseling but not to any organization providing abortion services or referrals.

Status: HB 4824 referred to House Committee on Transportation. SB 600 – 1/17/12 – testimony –> 1/25/12 – S-2 passed out of committee (7 yeas-0 nays).

Funds will go to crisis pregnancy centers.

Crisis pregnancy centers are not regulated and often give wrong or misleading information and will not refer for abortion.

Judges in other states have found these bills to be unconstitutional.

The state should not sponsor a public forum for political speech; and if it does it must open that forum to all political viewpoints.

6

Parental Consent
SB 135 (Robertson) prohibits “judge shopping” and requires a minor to demonstrate a sufficient level of maturity and be well-enough informed or prove parental neglect and/or abuse to obtain a waiver for abortion services.

Status:  Passed out of Senate Judiciary Committee on 10/4/2011. Currently awaiting action on the Senate floor.

Creates a barrier to minors seeking abortion services.

Additionally, courts would be allowed to use a minor’s personal life (grades, career plans, academic achievement, etc.) to decide whether the minor is of a “sufficient level of maturity”.

7

Prohibit Telemedicine
SB 420 (Casperson)/HB 4688 (Forlini) prohibits the use of telemedicine to provide women with medication abortion services. Legislation also prohibits off label use for medication abortion and restricts access to emergency contraception by requiring the presence of a doctor. There are legal challenges throughout the country on similar legislation.

Status:  Referred to Senate/House Committee on Health Policy.

Severely limits access to abortion services. 

Restricts access to basic contraception such as emergency contraception which is currently available without a prescription to those 17 and older.

8

Revise Ultrasound Requirement
SB 150 (Meekhof) revises the current ultrasound requirement to require the "most technologically advanced ultrasound equipment available at the location” be used.

SB 313 (Robertson)/HB 4433 (Johnson) requires a diagnostic ultrasound at least 2 hrs before an abortion with the option for the woman to view the ultrasound image, hear the heartbeat, receive a photo and hear an explanation of the image.

Status: Referred to Senate/House Committee on Health Policy.

Restricts access to services.

Further burdens licensed physicians providing legal medical services to patients.

Since 2006, doctors in MI have been required to give patients the option to view ultrasound images before performing an abortion.

Informed consent laws are already standard practice in Michigan.

9

Personhood
SB 13 (Jansen) amends all Michigan Statues to include a fetus in the definition of an individual.

HJR HH (McMillin) right of a “person” at fertilization.

Status: Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee/ House Committee on Families, Children & Seniors.

Potentially detrimental impact:

Outlaws abortion outright (overturns Roe v. Wade).

Bans hormonal birth control, emergency contraception.
Opens up miscarriages to criminal investigation.

10

Religious Liberty & Rights of Conscience Act
SB 975 (Moolenaar) would allow those who purchase or sell health insurance plans to deny coverage for an objectionable service. Allows health facilities that object to a certain service to refrain from providing that service; and employees of a health care provider may request reassignment to other duties if asked to perform or assist with a service that violates their religious convictions.

Status: Referred to Senate Committee on Health Policy.

Broad definition which could result in any service being denied such as vaccines or blood transfusions.

Pertains to an entire institution, not just individuals.
For example: Some areas of the state only have Catholic hospitals. If they are allowed to refuse certain services individuals that live in the area will have no other source of care.

11

Respect for Rights of Conscience Act of 2011
HR 185 (LaFontaine) A resolution to urge the President of the United States to reverse the Department of Health and Human Services regulation that employers provide health insurance that covers birth control without co-pays under the guise of “religious freedom”.
 

Status:
Passed out of House Committee on Government Operations on 2/9/2012. Passed out of the House (67-39) on 2/9/2012.

This resolution has nothing to do with religious freedom and is an attack on birth control.

There is widespread support for this benefit, even among Catholics, and strong opposition to discriminating against women by taking away their health care coverage.

56 percent of voters support the birth control coverage benefit, including 53 percent of Catholic voters, and 62 percent of Catholics who identify themselves as independents.

99 percent of all sexually experienced women and 98 percent of sexually experienced Catholic women will have used birth control at some point in their lives.

12

Restrict Abortion Services at 19 Weeks
SB 523 (Colbeck)/HB 4715 (Hooker) requires an abortion performed at 19 weeks or more to be performed in a hospital that has a neonatal unit.

Status:  Referred to Senate/House Committee on Health Policy.

Limits access to abortion services.

Unduly burdens access to abortion.

Contrary to Roe v. Wade.

13

Restrict Abortion Services at 20 Week Ban
Prohibit Abortions After 20 Weeks
HB 5343/HB 5344 (Kowall)prohibits abortion after 20 weeks. The bill does not include an exception for rape/incest or health of the mother but does include a narrow exception of life of the mother. The legislation puts all liability on physicians.

Status: Referred to House Committee on Health Policy.

Limits access to abortion services.

Against ruling of Roe v. Wade.

Further burdens licensed physicians providing legal medical services to patients.

There are no exemptions for rape, incest, health and fetal anomaly.

Singles out physicians that provide abortion services.

14

So called “Partial Birth” Abortion Ban
SB 160 (Meekhof)/SB 161 (Hansen)/HB 4109 (Daley) & HB 4110 (Glardon) mirrors the federal partial birth abortion ban.

Status:  Signed by Governor Snyder as PA 168 & 169 of 2011.

Already illegal on the federal level.

Prevents doctors from using their best medical judgment when treating patients.

Unnecessary and redundant legislation as there is already a federal ban.

The bills below were opposed by Planned Parenthood in Committee but Planned Parenthood changed its position and became neutral on the bills in March 2012.  Michigan NOW, ACLU, ACOG, RCRC oppose the bills

15

Coercion to Abort
HB 4798 (Rendon), HB 4799 (Opsommer), HB 5181 (O’Brien), HB 5182 (O’Brien)creates penalties for any individual that “maliciously threatens” the life, safety, job or financial stability of a woman who is pregnant and does not want an abortion and allows her to recover damages from those who she accuses of coercion up to 3 years later.  The last sentence of HB 4799 defines an unborn child as a live human being.

HB 5134 (Jenkins) amends the public health code to require the physician or qualified personnel to “orally screen” the patients seeking an abortion for coercion to abort and domestic violence.

Status: Substitute bills were reported out of House Committee on Families, Children and Seniors on 2-14-12; on 3-13-12 House passed bills 72-37 or 71-38 but IE failed. Referred to Senate Judiciary Committee.

It is already illegal to threaten or inflict physical violence against a person.

It is also illegal for an employer to fire or penalize an employee for being pregnant.

Doctors are already required to screen for domestic violence.

Doctors would be required to act as police investigators and lawyers instead of focusing on providing women’s health care.

Does nothing to protect a woman from being “coerced” into carrying a pregnancy to term.