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Governor Snyder (R-MI) signs extreme anti-abortion law

Governor Snyder (R-MI) signs extreme anti-abortion law

The God Discussion originally reported on 12 December 2012, and then again on 20 December 2012, about the Michigan legislature passing the 'omnibus bill,' HB 5711. This bill addressed construction codes and regulations for abortion clinics, as well as the ability for physicians to prescribe abortion related medication over the telephone.

HB5711 passed by by a 27-10 vote, and it is the most restrictive measure to date. The measures contained in the bill would require that doctors prove that their patient was in no way coerced into her decision to terminate her pregnancy. This amounts to a 'guilty before innocent' structure, where a negative must be proven.

Further measures would severely limit the access to abortion services for women living in outlying and rural areas, as well as a requirement for abortion clinics to dispose of a fetus using the same regulations that are in place for the disposal of the dead.

These regulations could result in the elimination of every abortion clinic in Michigan, and HB5711 is only one cog in a machine of extremely restrictive anti-choice initiatives that have come out of Michigan's lame-duck session this past week.

On Friday, 28 December 2012, Governor Snyder gave his approval and signed the bill into law. The new law will limit the access to abortion services for women living in rural areas, and includes a requirement that doctors prove that women seeking abortions are mentally competent and have not been coerced or forced into their decision.
The bill also includes new construction standards and other rules for abortion clinics that could end up with a large number of them having to shut down.

In a report filed by ThinkProgress, Governor Snyder had the following comment about HB 5711,

“…respects a woman’s right to choose while helping protect her health and safety.”

The bill has been met with resistenc by advocates of women's health and other critics, who stated that the regulations are harsh, and will hurt low-income women, particularly those living in the outlying and rural areas. As well, they have stated the process of determining the mental health of women, along with trying to ascertain whether or not they have been coerced will subject them to what amounts to interrogation.

The report quotes Rana Elmir, the Communications Director for the Michigan ACLU,

“Safety was never the intention of this law. The only thing this law accomplishes is to make a difficult decision even more difficult.”

There is some dissension within the ranks, as Republican Senator Howard Walker stated that the law had nothing to do with protecting women, but,

“This is about protecting fetuses.”

The law was pushed through during Michigan's lame duck session, in spite of the majority of Michigan voters supporting the legal access to abortion services.

About Al Stefanelli

Al is a retired author, writer and journalist. His books include "Free Thoughts - A Collection Of Essays By An American Atheist" and "A Voice Of Reason In An Unreasonable World - The Rise Of Atheism On Planet Earth." Al began writing in 1985, starting with the New York Times. In 1993 he joined a McClatchy newspaper, writing a weekly column for ten years. His writing continues to be widely distributed on the Internet and in print. He also produced and hosted a weekly syndicated radio broadcast from 1995 to 1998, and his work won a North Carolina Journalism award in 1998. Al is the former Georgia State Director for American Atheists, Inc., and served on the Board of Directors for "The Clergy Project." He is also a former Southern Baptist Pastor, having served two churches and as pulpit supply for three counties. Currently, he writes part time for The God Discussion, co-hosts the Internet radio programs, "The God Discussion Show" and "Reap Sow Radio." Al lives in the Atlanta suburb of Peachtree City, GA.
  • Spuddie

    So thanks to Gov Snyder, Michigan has become the Alabama of the North.

    A state where living wages have become an endangered species and Bible Thumping has become public policy.Out of all the problems MI has economically, I guess pushing a an unpopular ultra-conservative agenda was more important.

    I guess one way he is improving the economy is that MI has a new market for "abortion tourism".

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