Tuesday, June 5, 2012

House committee to take up prolife omnibus bill on June 7

On Thursday, May 31, a package of three bills was introduced in the Michigan House that represents the largest collection of prolife legislation ever addressed at one time in the legislature. House Bill 5711 is an omnibus bill combining several currently introduced prolife bills into one large new omnibus bill. Here is a brief description of the bills included in the “Prolife Bus" (along with their former bill numbers).

  • Coercive Abortion Prevention Act – Screens women seeking abortions for possible coercion to abort, and requires abortion clinics to post an anti-coercion sign (HB 5134 & 5182). Two additional new bills attached to the Bus, HB 5712-13, complete the package by defining coercion to abort as a crime and providing penalties (HB 4798-99).
  • Humane disposition of aborted babies – Requires bodies of aborted children to be buried or cremated (SB 25 & 54 or HB 4119-4120).
  • Prohibit “webcam” abortions – Prohibits prescribing the abortion pill by remote consulting over the Internet (HB 4688/SB 420).
  • Abortion clinic licensing – Requires 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 – Requires abortionists to carry $1 million in malpractice insurance or an equivalent bonded surety (SB 876).

Seven separate bills are being combined in the Bus, with two bills from the Coercive Abortion Prevention Act package as “trailer” bills to the Bus. The overall message theme to this package is: “Reforming Abortion Practices in Michigan – Long Overdue!” If reforming and reinventing Michigan government is a current priority in Lansing, the pattern of turning a blind eye to abortion clinic practices for 39 years must come to an end.

ACTION NEEDED: Please immediately contact your state representative and encourage their support for the Prolife Bus bills, HB 5711, 5712 and 5713. Spread the message so others can join in our grassroots lobbying!


  • A persistent pattern of neglect in regulating abortion clinic practices in Michigan has led to a long overdue need for governmental reforms. Women's safety is being compromised and taxpayers are not receiving value for the dollars being spent in our regulatory system.
  • While nearly every abortion is performed in an outpatient facility (99.8%), only 4 of 32 surgical abortion clinics are licensed in the same way other outpatient surgical centers are, such as laser eye or podiatric surgical facilities.
  • It is disturbing to know that some abortion facilities have operated in our state for decades and have never once been inspected. When regulators have responded to complaints lodged against some of these unlicensed clinics, totally unacceptable, unsanitary conditions have been found.
  • Some of Michigan's laws need to be updated to insure these clinics are licensed and inspected.
  • There is a lack of compliance with a variety of state laws regarding abortion, from insuring women receive adequate information prior to an abortion, to basic public health reporting of complications from abortion. Some women who have died from abortions were not even given the dignity of being a statistic in official state reports. Their deaths didn't seem to matter.
  • Women who become pregnant unexpectedly are commonly victims of pressure, coercion and violence to have an unwanted abortion. Homicide is the leading cause of death among pregnant women. Abortion providers should be a line of defense against such behavior, not a facilitator of abusing women.
  • Abortion advocates claim abortion is a decision “between a woman and her doctor.” Yet some abortions using the RU-486 abortion pill are being facilitated by Webcam-Skype communications where the woman never meets or is physically examined by the doctor. This violates the most basic of medical protocols and must not be allowed to happen in Michigan.
  • Due to a technicality in Michigan's public health laws, the bodies of aborted babies can be legally thrown into a common trash bin, headed for an ordinary landfill, so long as the bodies are chemically treated. Human remains should not be treated in such an undignified manner, nor should the environment or public health be so compromised.