Michigan's Republican controlled House of Representatives had assistance on passing what been labeled as one of three "Super-Anti Abortion Bills" H.B. 5711. Votes on the other two measures 5712 & 5713 which in total make up the most extreme measures nationwide to dramatically limit women reproductive health rights in the state, has been delayed.
House Republicans will not hold votes on 5712 & 5713, at the present time including a controversial ban on most abortions after 20 weeks with a narrow exception for the mother's life.
"We decided not to take that up right now so we can discuss the legislation further," said Ari Adler, spokesman for House Speaker Jase Bolger, R-Marshall said to the Detroit News.Six Democrats cross party lines voting with the House GOP majority, including Representative Leisa Liss (D-Warren), Richard LeBranc (D-Westland), George Darany (D-Dearborn), Bob Constan (D-Dearborn Heights), Paul Clemente (D-Lincoln Park) and Charles Brummer (D-Bay City).
The measures, which moved with record speed were introduced to the House Committee on Health Policy by Representatives Bruce Rendon (R-Lake City), Deb Shaughnessy (R-Charlotte) and Ray Franz (R-Onekama) on Thursday, May 31, 2012, or just two weeks prior to Michigan's House Health Policy Committee's vote on Thursday, June 7th.
The bills together, adding up to 60 pages of legislation ends legal abortion procedures in Michigan after 20 weeks without exceptions for woman's life, fetal anomaly, in cases of rape or incest. All health facilities access providing access to family planning based medical care to have surgical rooms on site even if they do not provide surgical abortions.
Physicians would be mandated to be present for medication abortions, to screen women for "coercion" before providing an abortion, and the legislation's would create new regulations for the disposal of fetal remains. Additionally, the measures would ban "telemedicine" abortions, use of technology to prescribe medication for abortion services and the morning-after pill.
House Bill 5711 now heads over to the Michigan Senate, it is unknown if Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville (R-District 17) will rush though the measures for a full vote by Friday, June 15, 2012, before both chambers take a summer recess break. Governor Rick Snyder (R) has not to date verbally expressed his intend to sign the legislation's if is passes the Senate in current format without revisions, and reaches his desk for affirmation.
Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer (D-Lansing) added a public status update to her Facebook page, expressing disappointment in Speaker of the House Jase Bolger (R-Marshall) limiting debate on H.B.'s 5711-5713.
"Deeply disappointing to see the House Republicans follow through on their terrible strategy of playing politics with women's health today.
They silenced women from speaking out against these bills in committee, they refused to allow opposing voices speak against it during debate today, and they made it perfectly clear that women's rights and beliefs are secondary to their own misguided political agenda.
While this legislation now moves to the Senate, I sincerely hope that Senator Majority Leader Randy Richardville will not bring this up for a vote. He has stated time and again that he wants to focus on legitimate matters of our economy and our workforce, so take a few moments and ask him to hold true to that commitment and not let these terrible bills see the light of day in the Michigan Senate.
Sen. Richardville can be reached by phone at (517) 373-3543 or by email at SenRichardville@senate.michigan.gov.
Thank you to everyone who showed up at the Capitol this week to support Michigan's women. While the Republicans may have tuned your message out today, if you continue to speak out throughout 2012, you will be heard loud and clear come November!," Senate Minority Leader Whitmer wrote.Up to 500 supporters of Pro-Choice family planning options remaining open for Michigan women, assented upon the Capitol building on Tuesday, June 12th, expressing their strong opposition to these measures. ROJS News will continue to follow this story, including any vote in the Michigan Senate, in the days or months ahead.