Michigan’s lame duck Senate passes legislation that would effectively ban abortion

Pro-choice protesters wear pink shirts in the Michigan House in June

Pro-choice protesters at the Michigan House in June

Remember Michigan’s Chubby Hubby of anti-choice legislation that Chloe wrote about in June?

Except instead of a whole bunch of delicious things rolled into one yummy ice cream, it’s a whole bunch of shitty anti-choice measures rolled into one awful bill.

At the risk of sounding like Stefon, this bill has everything: state-mandated scripts for doctors that masquerade as faux concern for women who are being coerced into abortion, new TRAP laws to make insurance more complicated and expensive for providers, stricter regulations for clinics, new rules about the disposal of fetal remains that would affect women who have miscarriages as well as abortions, and a new measure requiring the presence of a doctor for a medical abortion in a state where many women rely on tele-med prescriptions because so few counties have a provider on the ground. And, in case that wasn’t enough, a ban on all abortions after twenty weeks except to save the life of the mother. Way to go all in, Michigan.

The Michigan House passed the legislation in June, after only 20 minutes of debate. Which was when Rep. Lisa Brown said the word “vagina” and got banned from speaking on the House floor.  The state Senate decided to hold off voting on the legislation – I think it’s safe to say this was entirely because a number of antis were up for reelection, and the bill, and fear of the word “vagina,” were making the news in a not-so-positive light.

Well, the election’s over, and some of those anti-choice senators lost their races. So they’ve pushed through the Chubby Hubby bill in a lame duck session. Yesterday, the Senate voted 27-10 in favor of the bill. This was after approving a few other anti-choice bills. Which feels pretty damn excessive when you remember the Chubby Hubby bill would effectively ban abortion in the state. The bill now goes back to the House for a final rubber stamp. It will then head to the desk of Governor Rick Snyder, possibly by the end of the week. Gov. Snyder is super anti-choice.

So yeah, this is a bad one. Abortion rights advocates have done a great job fighting this legislation, getting it tabled in the first place, and bringing the bill national attention. Which probably had something to do with 5 prominent anti-choice legislators then getting voted out of office. While antis are still forcing through this despicable attack on reproductive rights, that’s because abortion rights advocates are starting to win. Let’s hope Gov. Snyder somehow decides not to sign the bill (I’m not holding my breath, but here’s where you can get in touch with him). But really, here’s hoping this inspires even more people to join the fight for abortion access in the state. Because Michigan looks like it’s about to ban abortion, period.

PS: vagina.

Boston, MA

Jos Truitt is Executive Director of Development at Feministing. She joined the team in July 2009, became an Editor in August 2011, and Executive Director in September 2013. She writes about a range of topics including transgender issues, abortion access, and media representation. Jos first got involved with organizing when she led a walk out against the Iraq war at her high school, the Boston Arts Academy. She was introduced to the reproductive justice movement while at Hampshire College, where she organized the Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program’s annual reproductive justice conference. She has worked on the National Abortion Federation’s hotline, was a Field Organizer at Choice USA, and has volunteered as a Pro-Choice Clinic Escort. Jos has written for publications including The Guardian, Bilerico, RH Reality Check, Metro Weekly, and the Columbia Journalism Review. She has spoken and trained at numerous national conferences and college campuses about trans issues, reproductive justice, blogging, feminism, and grassroots organizing. Jos completed her MFA in Printmaking at the San Francisco Art Institute in Spring 2013. In her "spare time" she likes to bake and work on projects about mermaids.

Jos Truitt is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Development.

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