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Michigan Governor Signs Major Pro-Life Bill Stopping Abortions

by Steven Ertelt | Lansing, MI | LifeNews.com | 12/28/12 5:49 PM

State

The governor of Michigan has signed 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 bill Gov. Rick Snyder has signed includes 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.

Governor Snyder signed 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.

Planned Parenthood, the nation’s major abortion chain, had called on Snyder to veto the bill, saying it “creates unnecessary, burdensome and costly licensing requirements for women’s health centers and will reduce access to comprehensive care for women in rural areas via a telemedicine ban.”

But, 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.”

Reacting to the signing, the Today, the Susan B. Anthony List, a pro-life women’s group, told LifeNews it was thanking Governor Snyder signed the bill, which it says puts into place common-sense regulations of abortion businesses, protects women from being coerced into an abortion, ends the disposal of aborted children in trash bins, and prevents abortion pills from being distributed by webcam.

Leading up to today’s pro-life victory, SBA List members in Michigan sent more than one thousand messages to their representatives in the state legislature, urging them to support the legislation.

“Michigan legislators and Governor Snyder are acting on the will of the pro-life citizens in the Wolverine State,” said SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser. “We applaud them and our bold allies at Michigan Right to Life for working tirelessly to ensure that all 32 abortion businesses across the state are licensed and inspected by the State of Michigan for health and safety standards.

“This is a prelude to the possible pro-life gains to be made at the state level in 2013, when twenty seven states will enjoy a Republican majority in the legislature. We expect these states to be fertile ground for pro-life legislation,” she said.

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 in the state legislature, 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.

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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)