National Partnership for Women & Families

In the News

Mich. Lawmakers Advance Bills Prohibiting Certain Abortions

The Michigan House Criminal Justice Committee on Tuesday advanced a package of two bills (HB 4833, HB 4834) that would ban a certain type of abortion procedure in the state, the Detroit News reports.

The bills now proceed to the state House floor (Livengood, Detroit News, 11/10).

Background

Similar measures have been signed into law in Oklahoma (HB 1721) and Kansas (SB 95), and state lawmakers have proposed related bills in Missouri (HB 920) and South Carolina (S 531). Physicians use the method in about 8% to 9% of abortions across the U.S (Women's Health Policy Report, 8/25).

According to the Lansing State Journal, the Oklahoma and Kansas laws currently are on hold pending court decisions (Hinkley, Lansing State Journal, 11/10).

Bill Details

One of the Michigan measures, HB 4833, would define the abortion method and add it to the Michigan penal code.

The other measure, HB 4834, would amend the code of criminal procedure to make it a felony punishable by a prison sentence of up two years for anyone who performs such an abortion (Women's Health Policy Report, 8/25). Under the bills, physicians who perform such abortions also could have to pay fines of up to $50,000 (Lansing State Journal, 11/10).

Comments

Lori Carpentier, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Mid and South Michigan, said the proposed legislation "is yet another example of where our legislators are trying to legislate what happens in medical procedures of which they know little about." She added, "There's medical technicalities of this that don't line up with the wording of the legislation."

Separately, state Rep. Stephanie Chang (D) said, "These bills are not about medicine. They are instead about playing politics -- and this could put the health of Michigan women in jeopardy by interfering with the doctor-patient relationship" (Detroit News, 11/10).