Michigan Senate Committee Follows House’s Lead, Advances Extreme Anti-Choice Legislation with Virtually Zero Notice
(PRESS RELEASE) After providing legislators and the public with only a few hours’ notice, today the Michigan Senate Judiciary Committee advanced an extreme anti-choice measure that would virtually eliminate the use of medication abortion and impose unwarranted physical plant requirements on abortion providers that could shut down nearly every clinic in the state.
The Michigan House of Representatives similarly pushed HB 5711 with little notice for providers and advocates to analyze the complex and lengthy piece of legislation, providing only about a day’s notice before scheduling a hearing on the bill—a week after it had been introduced. Said Nancy Northup, president and CEO for the Center for Reproductive Rights: “Anti-choice politicians in Michigan are working double time to make it virtually impossible for women to freely exercise their constitutional right to reproductive choice, and to block a fair debate on this cruel and dangerous bill. “Members of the full State Senate must reject this downright hostility toward their female constituents and end this relentless attack on Michigan women’s constitutional rights.” HB 5711 was passed by the full House last month 70-39 and received national media attention after Reps. Lisa Brown (D-West Bloomfield) and Barb Byrum (D-Onondaga) were barred by House leadership from opposing the bill on the floor after saying words like “vagina” and “vasectomy.” Supporters of the bill have admitted that these proposed measures aren’t in the interest of women’s health, but in fact a backdoor effort to ban abortion in Michigan all together. According to a June interview with WILX Channel 10, NBC’s affiliate in Lansing, Mich., state Rep. Mike Shirkey (R-Clark Lake) said, “Until we completely eliminate abortions in Michigan and completely defund Planned Parenthood, we have work to do.” A House committee also recently considered a related bill, HB 5713, which aims to ban all abortions 20 weeks post-fertilization—allowing an exception only when the pregnant woman’s life is in immediate danger.