Michigan House Denied Women the Right to Testify and Awakened a Sleeping Giant
Today, the Michigan House is debating one of the worst abortion bills in the history of the state. Remember that last week dozens of women, as well as numerous leading medical professional organizations, were denied the opportunity to testify against the bill at a public hearing. They thought women could be silenced, but Michigan women are watching and they are telling legislators to stop this bill.
Hundreds of women and men came out to protest what is considered to be the largest piece of restrictive anti-women’s health legislation to ever be addressed at one time.
The package of bills (HB 5711 – 5713) is an overreaching and unprecedented attack on women’s reproductive health care. The bill includes provisions that would severely limit when a woman can get an abortion without exceptions for the health of the woman or in cases where there is a severe fetal anomaly; requirements that health centers providing abortion become unnecessarily licensed as freestanding surgical centers--a burdensome requirement that could force all such health centers to close; and supplemental bills that include sentencing guidelines and criminal penalties against doctors.
When the bill was brought up in committee last week, just days after it was introduced, Republican House members refused to let dozens of women, as well as numerous leading medical professional organizations, testify against this restrictive legislation at a public hearing. The House committee voted to approve the sweeping abortion ban, and sent it to the Michigan State House for debate immediately. They may have been denied the opportunity to testify last week, but today their voices are being heard.
Rallying outside the state capitol in Lansing, these men and women are calling on the Michigan House to stop the sweeping abortion ban they had been attempting to rush through and approve.
As CEO of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan, Lori Lamerand said:
“Politicians in Lansing thought they could pass this bill without input from women and Michigan’s leading medical professionals — but they have awakened a sleeping giant. Hundreds are gathered in the capitol today to make it crystal clear that politicians should not be involved in a woman’s personal medical decisions about her pregnancy.”
Their message is clear, if the state legislature cared about women and children, they would focus on supporting women’s health and health outcomes, not imposing political constraints on patient care.