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Even a pro-abortion newspaper is unnerved by the radical sweep of Michigan’s “Reproductive Health Act”

by | Sep 22, 2023

By Dave Andrusko

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
Photo: SecretName101
CC BY-SA 4.0

When your state is stuck with a rabid pro-abortion governor, as Michigan is with Gretchen Whitmer, it’s not the least bit surprising that she and her fellow Democrats would propose legislation to wipe out every trace of protection for unborn children.

Such is the sweep of the Reproductive Health Act (RHA) which “would strip long-standing protections for women and children from Michigan law,” according to the Michigan Coalition to Protect a Woman’s Right to Know. “The dangerous RHA package of bills includes repealing Michigan’s informed consent and 24- hour waiting period requirement, removing basic surgical abortion clinic health and safety regulations, and eliminating the legal barrier which prevents taxpayer dollars from funding elective abortions.”

The RHA goes so far that even the Detroit News balked. The headline of their Wednesday editorial was “Bills would make Michigan abortion haven.”

You should read it for it tells you in black and white that this is a newspaper comfortable with Proposition 3 which, according to the editorial, merely allows the Democrats “to recreate the abortion environment that existed under Roe v. Wade, prior to the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision.”

They feel betrayed (my word, not theirs) because “That is what Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said was the goal during her campaign for reelection and to get Prop 3 passed. ‘What we have works,’ she told The Detroit News Editorial Board about Michigan’s standing abortion regulations.”

But…

But now, Democrats in Lansing are trying to make the abortion environment in Michigan far more permissive than it has ever been by removing a slew of current regulations.

That includes lifting restrictions on certain abortion procedures, repealing informed consent requirements that protect the health and safety of women seeking abortions, and ending restrictions on using taxpayer dollars to fund elective abortions, among other things.

Supporters of the bills argue that the existing laws are unnecessary restrictions on abortion providers and regulating access to the procedure conflicts with the guaranteed right to an abortion under the new law.

But in 2022, the overall number of abortions in Michigan remained stable, with some reports that demand fell significantly. Meanwhile, abortions for out-of-state patients increased 66%.

That doesn’t indicate a lack of access. 

Democrats should stick to the promises they made to get Prop 3 passed.

Does it?

The Reproductive Health Act doesn’t do that. Most notably, it would repeal a mandate that doctors screen women for signs of coercion before an abortion and that they ensure patients sign a form 24 hours ahead of an abortion attesting they’ve read information on the procedure, potential complications and the gestational age of the fetus.

The editorial lays out the breadth and depths of the  protections that would be tossed overboard.

Women considering an abortion should understand the totality of what they are about to experience. Verifying that information has been communicated from an abortion provider to a patient doesn’t represent an undue burden on reproductive rights.

The legislation would irresponsibly repeal requirements that doctors report abortions and any complications or deaths resulting from the procedure to the state and eliminate guidelines around the disposal of fetal remains.

It also would allow public funding, such as Medicaid, to cover all abortions, including those that are elective. 

Removing these restrictions would be an offense to the long-standing protections Michigan taxpayers have had from having to pay for elective abortions.  …

Democratic lawmakers have made it clear that parental notification is the next regulation on the chopping block, should this legislation pass. Again, that was something Whitmer specifically said she would not back.

The Legislature also must deal with reinstalling limits on late-term abortions.

There is even more! The editorial concludes

Passing this bill package would make Michigan one of the most permissive states for abortion in the country. That’s not what Michigan residents were told they were voting for when they passed Prop 3.

But honestly, does anyone believe that promises made—in this case in order to pass Prop 3—would be honored?

That is not how today’s ever-more-radical Democrat party operates.

Categories: State Legislation