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Michigan Senate Passes Major Pro-Life Bill Stopping Abortions

by Steven Ertelt | Lansing, MI | LifeNews.com | 12/12/12 6:06 PM

State

The Michigan state Senate has approved a major piece of pro-life legislation that will stop abortions by protecting women and holding abortion facilities accountable for following basic health and safety standards.

The measures to license and inspect abortion clinics, prevent coercive abortion, and stop so-called telemed abortions are intended to protect women and unborn children and further drive down the number of abortions in the state. The full state Senate approved the bill on a 27-10 vote today.

The chamber approved HB 5711, an omnibus bill, also known as the Prolife Bus. The purpose of the Prolife Bus is to hold the abortion industry to the same health and safety standards as other medical providers. Patients’ safety must be put ahead of abortion profits.

The legislation must now be concurred by the House of Representatives before heading to Governor Snyder for his signature.

Right to Life of Michigan Legislative Director Ed Rivet says “The best interests of women, their unborn children and the state of Michigan were well-served by the committee members who voted to pass the Pro-life Bus bill.”

On the other side, Planned Parenthood supporters have gathered at Michigan’s Capitol to protest legislation aimed at restricting and regulating abortion practices.

House Bill 5711 is an omnibus bill combining six introduced pro life bills into one large bill (45 pages). Omnibus bills of this nature have become common in Lansing and are referred to by the shortened moniker of a “bus.”

After the vote, pro-life groups applauded the state legislators.

“It is regrettable for a woman to seek an abortion; the least that can be done is to make sure abortion facilities in Michigan are clean and meet basic standards of care, and that’s what this legislation accomplishes,” said Rebecca Mastee, Michigan Catholic Conference Policy Advocate. “Michigan Catholic Conference has said throughout this debate that a woman’s health and safety must be a priority, and we’re thankful that the Senate has placed the dignity of women ahead of the financial interests of the abortion industry.”

The licensing and inspection component of the legislation was recently found to have overwhelming support, with 85 percent of respondents to a statewide survey of likely voters approving the provision while 76 percent of Democrat pro-choice women approved the measure.

Currently, only 4 of the 32 abortion facilities in Michigan are licensed by the state and, as such, the other 28 are rarely or if ever inspected by the state health bureau for basic sanitary requirements that are expected of other outpatient surgical facilities in Michigan. The passage of House Bill 5711 will ensure abortion facilities in Michigan meet Bureau of Health Systems standards that pertain to disaster and emergency procedures, medication and medical storage requirements, waste disposal requirements, sanitary procedures and other basic patient care requirements and administrative rules, such as:

•        Patient welfare should be the number one priority (Rule 325.3825)
•        Facility should be kept clean and sanitary (Rule 325.3844)
•        Facility should be safely constructed with a backup generator (Rule 325.3857)
•        Patient rooms must be kept between 70 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit (Rule 325.3871)
•        Facility must be connected to a public water supply (Rule 325.3872)
•        A qualified physician shall be present and in authority (Rule 325.3826)
•        Medical records should be organized, accurate and handled with care (Rule 325.3831)

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The bill, which passed the House of Representatives in June with bipartisan support, includes:

Coercive Abortion Prevention – screening women seeking abortions for possible coercion to abort, require an anti-coercion sign posted in abortion clinics. (HB 5134 & 5182) The two additional new bills attached to the Bus, HB 5712-13, complete the Coercive Abortion Prevention package by defining coercion to abort as a crime and providing penalties. (HB 4798-99)

Humane disposition of aborted babies – require bodies of aborted children to be buried or cremated. (SB 25 & 54 or HB 4119-4120)

Prohibit “Webcam” abortions – prohibits prescribing abortion pill by remote consulting over the Internet. (HB 4688/SB 420)

Abortion clinic licensing – require any abortion clinic or private physician office advertising outpatient abortion services to be licensed as a Freestanding Outpatient Surgical Facility. (HB 5522)

Abortionist malpractice insurance – require abortionists to carry $1 million in malpractice insurance or carry an equivalent bonded surety. (SB 876)