Omnibus pro-life bill passed by legislature, on to Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder

By Dave Andrusko

Michigan state Sen. Rick Jones

At the eleventh hour on the last day of the legislative session, the Michigan House of Representatives voted 72-35 to concur with changes made in the Michigan Senate on Wednesday. The measure, H.B. 5711, now goes to Gov. Rick Snyder for his expected signature.

H.B. 5711 is a combination of five previously introduced bills rolled into a single, omnibus bill. The bill amends the Michigan Public Health Code to bring about long overdue reforms to the state’s abortion industry.

The bill passed the state Senate on Wednesday on a vote of 27 to 10. However because there are minor changes from the House version, H.B. 5711 went back to the House for a concurring vote. (For more on the Senate action, see www.nationalrighttolifenews.org/news/2012/12/pro-life-omnibus-bill-passes-michigan-senate-after-passage-in-house-last-june.)

The bill will

* 1. Require all surgical abortion clinics to be licensed and inspected by the state. (Only four of the 32 abortion clinics in Michigan are licensed, which means the other 28 are rarely, if ever inspected by state officials for basic health and safety requirements.]

* 2. Require abortion clinics to screen women to determine if they are being coerced into the abortion.

* 3. Prohibit prescribing and dispensing RU-486 abortion pills via Internet webcam connections.

* 4. Require the humane disposition of the bodies of aborted babies.

* 5. Makes it a crime and establishes penalties for those who coerce women into an abortion.

Having been thoroughly routed, abortion supporters were reduced to declaring the legislation to be another example of a “war on women” and mischaracterizing the intent of the humanely disposed requirement. 

According to the Detroit Free Press, referring to pictures that he said he saw of the 17 fetal remains from the abortion clinic in 2010, State Sen. Rick Jones said, “I saw these aborted babies, they were little human beings. If (critics of the bill) want to call them medical waste that’s their prerogative… I saw very vivid pictures of babies.”

Ed Rivet, legislative director for Right to Life of Michigan, told the Free Press  “the intent of the law was not to shame women out of abortions through a conversation about the fetus.” It was rather about making sure that the bodies of unborn babies — whether from an abortion or a stillbirth — were handled properly.

Under H.B. 5711, “Look, they can’t be thrown in the trash,” Rivet said.

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