Michigan Senate Committee Approves Key Pro-Life Abortion Bill

State   Steven Ertelt   Jul 26, 2012   |   4:52PM    Lansing, MI

A Michigan state Senate committee has approved a package of pro-fie bills intended to protect women and unborn children and further drive down the number of abortions in the state.

The Senate Judiciary Committee heard more than two hours of testimony regarding House Bill 5711 on Thursday. HB 5711 is 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 hearing was held in the Farnum Building near the Capitol. Senator Rick Jones chaired the committee. All wanting to provide testimony were provided the opportunity. An overflow room was available for those unable to obtain seating in the packed hearing room,” said Pam Sherstad of Right to Life of Michigan. “Many spoke in favor of HB 5711 including prolife individuals and representatives from Right to Life of Michigan and the Michigan Catholic Conference. Other individuals opposed the legislation including representatives from Planned Parenthood, American Civil Liberties Union, National Organization for Women and American Association of University Women.”

After testimony was heard, Sen. Rick Jones called for a vote, saying, “This issue is too important to not move forward.”

HB 5711, the Prolife Bus, was reported out of the Senate Judiciary Committee with a 3 to 1 vote. Those supporting the legislation included Sen. Rick Jones, Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker and Sen. Tory Rocca. Opposing the bill was Sen. Steve Bieda.

On June 7, the Michigan House Health Policy Committee voted 13-5 to pass the Prolife Bus bill, which represents the largest collection of prolife legislation ever addressed at one time in the Michigan legislature. House Bill 5711 is an omnibus bill combining several currently introduced pro-life bills into one large new bill.

Right to Life of Michigan Legislative Director Ed Rivet said, “The resolve of the pro-life majority on the House Health Policy Committee was unwavering. 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, about 200 Planned Parenthood supporters have gathered at Michigan’s Capitol to protest legislation aimed at restricting and regulating abortion practices. The group ringed the Capitol’s Rotunda Tuesday chanting, “This is our house,” and “We’ll remember in November.”

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.” Right to Life of Michigan provided LifeNews a description of the bills and says it is urging pro-life advocates to contact members of the state legislature now to support the bill by going here. The bill package 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)

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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)