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Friday, June 8, 2012

PRESS RELEASE: Democratic Floor Leader Kate Segal (D-Battle Creek) on Michigan HB 5711-5713

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                    Contact: Rep. Kate Segal
Friday, June 8, 2012                                                                                      Phone: (517) 373-0555

Segal Votes Against Bills that Endanger Women's Health
Bills would criminalize doctors who provide legal health services for women.

LANSING - Democratic Floor Leader Kate Segal (D-Battle Creek) voted against a package of Republican-sponsored abortion bills in the House Health Policy Committee yesterday saying that they endanger women's lives by making the legal procedure of abortion more difficult for women.
"Despite what the bills' sponsors are saying, this legislation has nothing to do with protecting a woman's life or health and everything to do with delivering favors to special interest groups in an election year," said Segal. "That is why this legislation is suddenly being fast-tracked through the legislative process, why countless Michigan citizens were denied their right to testify in front of our committee and why after less than an hour of honest discussion this legislation was being rammed through the committee by the Republican majority." 
The bills that moved out of committee on Thursday:
  • Ban abortions after 20 weeks and do not allow for health exceptions to preserve the mother's life, or for an exception if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.
  • Create several scenarios that would allow for felony charges to be brought against doctors who provide abortion services.
  • Institute an onerous and bureaucratic licensing and regulatory process and enact expensive new fees that are intended to shut down many clinics.
  • Invade the important and sacred doctor/patient relationship by requiring new screenings to determine if a woman is being coerced.
  • Creates another new winfall for insurance companies by requiring doctors to carry $1 Million in additional medical liability insurance.
  • Could ultimately eliminate most women's access to reproductive healthcare facilities by forcing the vast majority of clinics to close and discourage doctors from practicing in Michigan.

House Bills 5711, 5712 and 5713 were just introduced on May 31 of this year and despite a crowded list of individuals wishing to testify about the affects this legislation would have on women's health; the bills only received the one hearing  before they were fast-tracked out of committee and onto the House floor. One bill alone was 45 pages and contained within it the provisions of several other abortion-related bills. The rushed process provided little time for legislators to review or discuss the legislation.
"These bills are some of the most restrictive in the country and will prevent women from having  access to other health services and even contraception," said Segal. "This is just another example of how out-of-touch and extremist politicians are declaring a War on Women in order to appease their special interest donors. I will fight this unconscionable attempt to criminalize doctors, restrict women's rights, and turn a legal and safe medical procedure into one that is difficult to provide, difficult to obtain and dangerous to women."

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