More from Michigan: Anti-Abortion "Super Bill" Passed
Yesterday the Michigan Senate approved HB 5711, a sweeping package of anti-abortion legislation that will enforce everything from TRAP laws to requiring a risk assessment prior to a procedure. "Super Bill" HB5711 was first proposed in June, and has been in the Senate since August. Yesterday the bill was approved on a vote of 27 to 10, and merely needs to be signed by Governor Rick Snyder to become law.
HB 5711 requires that clinics meet the same standards and regulations as surgical centers and that fetal remains are to be treated the same as a dead human body, including authorization from the local or state registrar before cremation. The bill also requires that doctors provide a written "risk assessment" to patients at least 24 hours before having a procedure and prohibits the use of telemedicine to prescribing abortion-inducing medication. Doctors will also have to certify that a woman is not being coerced into having an abortion by asking probing and invasive questions as a result of HB 5711.
Michigan's state legislature has passed multiple pieces of anti-choice legislation this week while the majority of media attention has been directed towards the right-to-work bill. House Substitute for S.B. 1293 and House Substitute for S.B. 1294 were both approved by the Michigan Senate and House and immediately prevent abortion coverage from being included in any health insurance exchange program as required by the Affordable Care Act. Both of these laws were passed as part of the restructuring of Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan. These two bills are separate from both approved, which are all pieces of anti-choice insurance legislation passed by the state Senate and sent to the House Insurance Committee. If S.B. 612, 613, and 614 are passed in the House, they will prevent abortion from being a covered procedure under any health insurance policy, and would require women to purchase an additional separate policy purely for abortion coverage.
Media Resources: USA Today 12/13/12; Detroit News 12/12/12; Huffington Post 12/12/12; Feminist Newswire 12/12/12, 12/11/12
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .