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MI Senate adopts Reproductive Health Care Act bill

MI Senator Erika Geiss (D-Taylor)
Rick Pluta
MI Senator Erika Geiss (D-Taylor)

The bill updates laws to reflect the reproductive rights amendment adopted last year by voters. The measure was adopted along party lines.

The Michigan Senate approved a bill Thursday to roll back abortion restrictions remaining on the books to reflect the state’s reproductive rights amendment approved last year by voters.

Democrats supported the bill and voted down a Republican proposal that would have made it tougher to obtain an abortion later in pregnancy.

Senator Thomas Albert (R-Lowell) argued that would fall within the bounds of the amendment.

“Are the Democrats going to elect to regulate abortion post-fetal viability as our constitution allows, or will they take the extreme position that abortion will be permissible up to the moment a child leaves the womb?” he said in a floor speech.

But Democrats said Albert’s proposal would intrude on decisions that should be left to patients and doctors.

Senator Erika Geiss (D-Taylor) said that would alter the bill to violate the intent of the reproductive rights amendment.

“Let’s leave medical decisions to the medical professionals and not to legislators who have none of the following: the ability to practice obstetric medicine or midwifery in the State of Michigan, or a uterus,” she said.

The bill would take the language of the constitutional amendment and place it in statute. One part of the Senate bill would also repeal a law that requires health insurers to charge policyholders extra for abortion coverage. Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s 20220 decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, ending federal protections for abortion rights, Governor Gretchen Whitmer called on insurers to ensure coverage for abortion care. That was before the Michigan Reproductive Freedom for All amendment was approved by voters by a margin of 57 % to 43 %.

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