Stop Michigan’s Dangerous Anti-Choice Bill

abortion_pro_choice-via-rcclibrary

Target: Michigan Representatives and Senators

Goal: Don’t block reproductive health care access in Michigan.

In a short period of time, Michigan has introduced and advanced what might be the most restrictive anti-abortion bill in U.S. history. At sixty pages, it holds dozens of new provisions for abortion providers and severely cuts access to abortions for patients.

Introduced by Republican State House Representative Bruce Rendon, the bill would criminalize all abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, with no exceptions for rape or the health of the mother. There would be a narrow exception for if the mother’s life were in danger.

It would also require health centers to build a surgical room, even if they don’t perform surgical abortions at that location. This would be extremely costly to centers that most likely need all their funds to continue providing quality services, and they would need to have the facility licensed for a room that would not get used. Clinics would also have to pay a doctor to be on site at all times, even if he or she wasn’t working.

The new “super bill,” as its being called, would also require that a physician be present for a medication abortion (the abortion pill). No telemedicine would be allowed, so doctors wouldn’t be able to prescribe abortion medication or the morning after pill (which is not the abortion pill) through the use of technology. This would prevent many patients from even being able to access these reproductive health services if they live in rural areas or cannot afford to travel. As Angi Becker Stevens of RH Reality Check puts it, this is “a particularly damaging regulation in a state where 82 percent of counties have no abortion provider, and many women in rural areas rely on the safe and effective tele-med prescription of medical abortion.”

If passed, this could shut down most reproductive health care centers in Michigan, essentially cutting off access to a safe abortion. It is pure politics under the guise of creating safer clinics, because most of the new regulations are unnecessary and incredibly expensive. It’s a way to block abortion access without making it illegal.

In its hearing, the Michigan House Committee on Health Policy denied women, physicians, and program experts the chance to testify against the legislation. Among those denied were the American Medical Association, Planned Parenthood of mid and south Michigan, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and Michigan State Medical Society. The House did however allow a testimony from Michigan Right to Life, an anti-choice organization that would clearly endorse this bill.

Reproductive health decisions should be made between a patient and a doctor. Politicians have no place to create restrictions on a safe, legal medical procedure; these are regulations that should be made by medical professionals. Tell Michigan representatives to respect the choices of patients and oppose this extreme agenda.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Michigan Representatives and Senators,

The newest anti-choice legislation in Michigan is the most extreme our country has ever seen. This bill could effectively close most reproductive health care centers in Michigan, cutting off health care access for thousands of people.

It would place unnecessary and costly regulations on clinics and providers, especially through banning telemedicine. Many patients cannot afford to travel or take time off from work and rely on technology to receive their prescriptions. Furthermore, 82 percent of counties in Michigan have no abortion provider, making access to a safe abortion extremely difficult as is.

Lastly, banning all abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, even in cases of rape or fetal anomalies, is absolutely unjust and extreme. These are decisions to be made between a physician and a patient. Politicians are not medical health professionals, and therefore have no place creating these provisions. Please consider the health and livelihood of thousands in Michigan and drop this dangerous legislation.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

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