Abortion Bills Package Clears Hurdle in Michigan House

By: News 10
By: News 10

LANSING -- A package of abortion bills in Michigan now heads to the full House after clearing a hurdle Thursday.

Some call the bills protection for expectant mothers and unborn babies.

Others call them the most extreme legislation in the country.

Three bills passed along party lines through the House Health Policy Committee on Thursday, with state Republicans supporting them and Democrats in opposition. Among other things, they would:

-Make it a crime to coerce a woman to get an abortion

-Ban any abortions after 20 weeks -- without exceptions for rape or the health of the mother

-Require health centers that provide abortions to have surgical rooms

-Create new regulations for the disposal of fetal remains

-Require doctors that provide abortions to carry $1 million in liability insurance

Opponents say the changes could shut down most reproductive health centers in the state, and force doctors to leave Michigan.

"The point about this is that everything they are trying to do here is really with one goal in mind. And that is to stop abortiong being available, period, end of story," said Lori Lamerand, president of South Michigan Planned Parenthood.

"Well, they always say that if we pass any kind of regulation about abortion that it's gonna eliminate women's ability to get an abortion, and yet every time we've passed one -- that's never happened," said Ed Rivet, spokesman for the Right to Life of Michigan.

The House is expected to pass the bills Thursday, and the Senate, also controlled by Republicans, would take them up in the middle of June.

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