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Monday, February 27, 2012

Michigan GOP declare a War on Women, crafting bills to erode right to choose

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Instead of declaring a war promoting job creation, bringing economic stability back over 450,000 Michigan residents desiring to return back to work; state Republican leaders have worked in Lansing on successions of legislation designed to erode a women's right to choose.

Twenty-three bills rest within the Michigan legislative chambers to surrounding a mandate on private insurance companies not cover elective abortion procedures, limiting a woman rights to prescription drugs provide for reducing pain associated with abortions, charging a criminal felony against spouse, partner or medical provider who discusses abortion procedures with women that changes their mind after the medical treatment is performed and more.

Advocacy group "Unite Against the War on Women" has formed in a effort to defend women’s rights and pursuit of equality. The organization is seeking to gather Americans across the United States on April 28th, 2012, to inform members of Congress in Washington DC and legislators in all 50 states, “Enough is enough!" with Republican officials crafting legislation to end a woman's right to choose.

In Michigan, rapidly growing Facebook Group page of the "United Against the War on Women" called "We Are Women-March" has been designed as a informational resource for the organization, along with an recently formed blog. The Michigan group has gathered robust support, adding over 350 members during the past week.

Michigan blogger Angi Becker Stevens of R.H. Reality Check-a site focused on the subjects of Women's Reproductive Health and Justice, research measures being secretly crafted by Michigan GOP Senate and House members, in a effort turn the clock backwards on what private medical procedures women can decide for their bodies back to 19th versus, 21st century.

SB 0013--Fetal Personhood● This bill would amend the state’s legal code to include “fetus” as part of the definition of “individual” in every part of the law. Expanding the legal definition of a person to include “fetus” has obvious implications for abortion rights. 
SB 0025/HB 4119--Disposal of Fetal Remains● This bill, regulating the disposal of fetal remains, would likely be used to further hamper clinics’ ability to function by creating tighter regulations. It could also have questionable implications for women suffering miscarriages. 
SB 0051--Prohibits Research on Aborted Embryos and Fetuses 
SB 0135--Parental Notification for Abortion● This bill would strengthen the parental notification laws by making it impossible for a minor to appeal a court’s decision not to grant a waiver to the parental notification law (it is already law in MI that minors must have parental notification to obtain an abortion). 
SB 0313/HB 4433--Ultrasound Equipment● This bill would mandate that a woman receive an ultrasound using “the most technologically advanced equipment available” a minimum of two hours prior to obtaining an abortion. It would also require that the monitor be turned toward the woman, and that the doctor (or technician) give a detailed description of the current fetal development during the ultrasound. 
SB 0420/HB 4688--Prescription of Medical Abortion● Prohibits the prescription of drugs to chemically induce abortion without a prior physical examination. 
SB 0523/HB 4715--Regulating Abortions After 19 Weeks● This bill would mandate that all abortions post-19 weeks take place in a facility with a neonatal care unit, to potentially save the life of an infant that was delivered alive after an attempted abortion. In addition to the obliviously problematic implications of trying to “save” aborted fetuses, this would severely limit the availability of such late term abortions (which are nearly always done for serious health reasons). 
SB 0612, 0613, 0614/HB 4143, 4147, 4776--Insurance● All prohibit the coverage of abortion via state health insurance, except through the purchase of an additional rider (which does not actually exist as an option). 
SB 0876--Liability Insurance for Abortion Providers● Strengthens the requirements for liability insurance for abortion providers, making it more difficult for physicians to provide abortions. 
HB 4799--Prohibition of “Coercive” Abortion● This bill would make it a crime to coerce a woman to have an abortion against her will, and could target--among others--any spouse/partner (or parent of a minor) who encouraged a woman to seek an abortion (though it is perfectly legal to coerce a woman not to have an abortion). 
Additionally HB 5134 would mandate an “oral screening” of all abortion-seeking women to determine whether they were being coerced into their decision, and a further 24-hour waiting period would be enforced if the screening revealed evidence of coercion.  
HB 5242--State Funding for Abortion Providers● This bill would prohibit any state contracting with facilities that provide abortion. No hospitals or clinics which provide abortion as even a tiny portion of their services would be eligible for any state funds or contracts. 
HB 5343--”Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act”● This bill would prohibit all abortions at 20 weeks gestation and beyond, except in cases where death of the mother would otherwise result. The bill specifically spells out that emotional and psychological concerns do not count as medical reasons for abortion, and that the threat of suicide does not qualify as a threat to the mother’s life. 
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