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Michigan’s Abortion HB 5711 is NOT as bad as Jezebel and HuffPo make it out to be

I am irritated, disgusted and very disappointed in two website articles posted a day apart with pretty much the same information and opinions. Huffington Posts, “Michigan Anti-Abortion Bill, ‘Most Extreme’ In The Country, Barrels Through State House” and Jezebel’s, “Michigan’s Extreme Anti-Abortion Bill Leads the Nation in Batshittery.” Now, it only takes one glance on my site here to see that I am very pro-women’s rights and pro-choice. But just as I despise FAUX FOX News distorting facts so severely that they become outright lies, I do not condone this same behavior from the liberal side of the political field. From what I have read in these articles versus what I read in the bill itself, HuffPo and Jezebel did the exact same thing that FAUX FOX News does.

When I saw these articles, naturally my first thoughts were, “what the hell is it now?” According to what I read, HB 5711 sounds about as close to illegalizing abortion as we’ve seen yet. I wanted to see for myself what has been written into the state bill to take away so many of women’s rights. I could find nearly nothing which equates to what HuffPo and Jezebel are reporting, and I spent nearly three hours reading this bill, re-reading it, and re-re-reading it again. I did focus primarily on the new additions as these are what many, including Planned Parenthood – of whom I am a staunch supporter – are distressed over. In other words, the bill prior to the revisions does not include the items of concern. So I will address the primary points raised by the two sites individually with my final “ruling.”

UPDATE:  A reader pointed out to me that these two sites are not referencing the right bill. The bill with the “pain-capable unborn child protection act” is Michigan HB No. 5713 – and I am HOPPING mad about this one. But still read ahead so you will know what this bill is about.

More later…


First off, Huffington Post starts out with:

“A massive, 60-page omnibus bill that drastically limits abortion access and could shut down all abortion clinics in the state is being rushed through the Michigan State House of Representatives on Thursday.”

Jezebel was very similar, neither worded with any indication that these are revisions to an existing bill. To me, it sounded like a NEW bill which is 60 pages long. There is more added than was removed, but I would estimate maybe five pages of new verbiage.

My findings: Being overly dramatic and not disclosing the fact that this is a revision up for vote of an existing bill is simply being dishonest. No integrity. I do not like when one hides facts because the truth de-emphasizes their point.


Moving on, Jezebel writes”

“For starters, all abortions after 20 weeks would be criminalized—no exceptions for victims of rape or if the fetus has a severe anomaly, like it is missing a brain or a spine. Wait? Oh, never mind it’s pointless to even try to understand how that is a good idea because it’s not. There is a very narrow exception made if the mother’s life is at risk, but simply her health and/or future fertility is not reason enough to allow an abortion. Well, how very pro-life indeed.”

I actually included more here than I needed to simply because I found this author to be nothing more than a sarcastic whiner. I love sarcasm and use it often. But throughout this entire article, Cassie Murdoch sounds like she is doing nothing more than whining. I have seen twelve-year olds write better than this. Give me substance, give me debate, give me facts – do not just piss and moan.

Now, in regards to abortions after 20 weeks being criminalized even in extreme cases like rape or severe fetal abnormalities, which HuffPo states the same, I found nothing added to the bill to support this. Nothing. Outside of 20 weeks being used in two definitions, the only references I found were that if a dead fetus at least 20 weeks of gestation is delivered either in or outside of an institution, the reports must be filed accordingly to the proper procedure. In fact, one addition that I did like was:

“…AND MAKE ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE FINAL DISPOSITION OF THE DEAD FETUS IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 2848 TAKING INTO ACCOUNT THE EXPRESSED WISHES OF THE PARENTS, OR PARENT IN THE CASE OF AN UNMARRIED MOTHER, AS LONG AS THOSE WISHES DO NOT CONFLICT WITH ANY STATE OR FEDERAL LAW, RULE, OR REGULATION.”

It is the honorable thing to make sure that the disposition (disposal) of the dead fetus is done in a manner acceptable to the mother and related.

My findings: A bald-faced lie, unless I completely overlooked it. Please, someone read the bill and let me know if I have missed something. I would rather the criminalization of abortion post 20-weeks isn’t in there, but if so, I would like to know where.


In Huffington Post:

“The bill would also ban “telemedicine” abortions, or the use of technology to prescribe medication for abortion services and the morning-after pill.”

Here is what one of the added revisions state:

“A PHYSICIAN SHALL NOT GIVE, SELL, DISPENSE, ADMINISTER, OTHERWISE PROVIDE, OR PRESCRIBE A PRESCRIPTION DRUG TO AN INDIVIDUAL FOR THE PURPOSE OF INDUCING AN ABORTION IN THE INDIVIDUAL UNLESS THE PHYSICIAN SATISFIES ALL THE CRITERIA ESTABLISHED BY FEDERAL LAW OR GUIDELINE THAT A PHYSICIAN MUST SATISFY IN ORDER TO GIVE, SELL, DISPENSE, ADMINISTER, OTHERWISE PROVIDE, OR PRESCRIBE A PRESCRIPTION DRUG FOR INDUCING AN ABORTION.”

This is the closest I could find in regards to the abortion pill. It references the doctor must adhere to federal guidelines. Well, I most certainly hope so.

My findings: Exactly the same as abortions being criminalized after 20-weeks even in cases of rape, etc. I found NOTHING to this effect.


Next, in Jezebal:

“Oh, it’d also make it a crime to coerce a woman into having an abortion. Geeze, make that definition vague enough and you might be able to start prosecuting doctors for being overly enthusiastic in telling patients that it’s totally safe to get an abortion…”

Talk about twisting facts. In all honesty, all the revisions about coercion are welcome additions. As Cassie whines, “Geeze, make that definition vague enough…” What is vague about the term “coercion”? The definition is, “the act of compelling by force of authority.” What is vague about that? Seriously, Cassie, keep it real!

The intent of these revisions is very clear. I want to keep abortion legal like any pro-choicer, but if a woman is coerced into having an abortion, then she needs to feel she will be safe if she speaks up. This goes hand-in-hand with domestic violence. The added revision is to protect women who are being forced to have an abortion against their will. The whole idea of pro-choice is exactly that… a choice. Some women may be the victim of an abusive relationship where the father of the unborn child does not want the baby, but the pregnant mother does but is being forced and/or threatened to have said abortion. In fact, the consent form added this line:

B. I UNDERSTAND THAT IT IS ILLEGAL FOR ANYONE TO COERCE ME INTO SEEKING AN ABORTION.

There is nothing wrong with this… unless those who are opposing this revision have something to hide….

My findings: There is nothing vague at all about the coercion additions. These revisions are clearly being added to protect women who against being forced to have an abortion from another source. A doctor, therapist, or health care professional discussing having an abortion with the pregnant woman is NOT coercion. Although any individual may be coercive, and that is wrong regardless of who does it.


Next we have Carrie whining again with:

“And, just for good measure, the bill also puts in place elaborate new regulations for the disposal of fetal remains.”

Since abortions are not my line of work, either professional or volunteer, I flat out do not know what the current process is for disposing of the remains. The revisions states:

“ALL FETAL REMAINS RESULTING FROM ABORTIONS SHALL BE DISPOSED OF BY MEANS LAWFUL FOR OTHER DEAD BODIES, INCLUDING BURIAL, CREMATION, OR INTERMENT. UNLESS THE MOTHER HAS PROVIDED WRITTEN CONSENT FOR RESEARCH ON THE FETAL REMAINS UNDER SECTION 2688, A PHYSICIAN WHO PERFORMS AN ABORTION SHALL ARRANGE FOR THE FINAL DISPOSITION OF THE FETAL REMAINS RESULTING FROM THE ABORTION.”

All I have to say here is that if the fetal remains are disposed of in any manner less than these, there’s something very wrong with that clinic. Personally, I would not want to perform or spend the money on a burial or anything similar to the passing of a loved one, so very simple. Donate the remains for research. They will use them for stem cell research.

This is a good spot to interrupt my analysis of this bill and the revisions…. Some of what is being said and discussed here may sound harsh and cold, but then abortion is nothing that’s warm and fuzzy. The conditions most women seek to have one are typically not pretty. Simply because no one wants to deal with the unpleasantries of life does not mean they do not exist.

My findings: I feel that this revision is for the better. If there are clinics dumping the remains in the garbage, then I believe this needs to be changed.


In moving on, Jezebel continues:

“As you might have guessed, all of these restrictions would make it very difficult, if not impossible, to operate a clinic that offers abortions. You’d have to spend a huge amount of money to install a surgical room that sits empty. You’d need to pay a doctor to be there at all times, even if they weren’t doing anything.”

Surgical room? Once again, I did not find anything stating a surgical room needed to be built. Then that raises the question in my head… what types of rooms are abortions occurring in? And if a doctor is not currently present for abortions, who is? If you are going to discuss this in your article, then better explain the current arrangement.


Next from Jezebel (yes, I am being very hard on this article because just like people follow every word of FOX News, there are people who do the same on the liberal side of websites):

“And all of your patients would need to come into the clinic to get services, where you’d then have to grill them to make sure they hadn’t been forced into showing up.”

Come into the clinic? Are there house calls being made? And grill them to make sure their not being forced into showing up? There’s no grilling. They are asked, and they should be asked to make sure they are not being coerced into being there.


The only change that I found which may hurt some doctor’s offices is the current clause under amendment as such:

“The department shall specify in the rules that a facility including, but not limited to, a private practice office described in this subsection in which 50% or more of the patients annually served at the facility undergo an abortion must be licensed under this article as a freestanding surgical outpatient facility IF THAT FACILITY PUBLICLY ADVERTISES OUTPATIENT ABORTION SERVICES AND PERFORMS 6 OR MORE ABORTIONS PER MONTH.”

This will potentially require many private clinics and offices to change their licenses to a “surgical outpatient facility,” and I imagine that for many reasons, a private office will not wish to do so. Most likely there will be an enormous increase in liability coverage as well as minimal guidelines such as staffing and equipment which will then again add more of a financial burden on that office. Therefore the results would most likely be a cutback in the amount of abortion procedures which will occur. This will then affect how and where women may go to seek an abortion.

There are a few other revisions such as a clinic must have a million dollar liability coverage if they’ve been sued in the past or a few other items indicating prior negligence. For the protection of women, I fail to see the problem with this.


When the far right conservatives twist the facts and blatantly lie, it is wrong. So many people follow without researching the actual facts therefore ignorantly believe wrong information. It is no different with liberals.

If we are to ever hope for a bipartisanship congress and government, it has to happen from both sides – and that includes those that report what is going on with politics.

With that, I am done. I am tired of the fighting and refusal to work together for the betterment of our country and it’s people. There is most definitely a war on women as the states become more and more controlling over women’s reproductive rights. But this manner of reporting is not the answer.

The bill is expected to pass the Republican-dominated House on Thursday afternoon. Of course it will. It is Republican-backed. But I do not see it as the worst bill out there. I still think Arizona has that prize.


Sources:

Jezebel:  Michigan’s Extreme Anti-Abortion Bill Leads the Nation in Batshittery
Huffington Post:  Michigan Anti-Abortion Bill, ‘Most Extreme’ In The Country, Barrels Through State House
Michigan Gov’t Website:  Michigan HB No. 5711

32 replies »

  1. I saw the headlines but you did the homework. Thanks for that. I’m as pro-choice as anyone, but if we resort to the misrepresentation, hyperbole, and hysteria employed by the other side, we undermine everything we stand for. We have logic, public opinion, and the Constitution on our side; let’s not screw it up.

  2. As our conversation before, things only seem to be going backward for women in America. We have as standard practice in all parts of Britain an over the counter at pharmacists, the morning after pill. No need for doctors to be sanctimonious or condescending. As some still do here too. The choice is completely open.These people are so primitive in their Idealist lives they don’t even realise how backward they are.

  3. yes, 5711 does not have the 20wk ban. There is another bill, HB 5713, coming up the same day in Michigan that criminalizes post 20wks.

    http://legiscan.com/gaits/text/650409

    The coercion screening, licensing, 24 hr wait time, and regulations about getting a funeral director for the remains are more of the same unnecessary hurdles to block the practice all together. Frankly, the language is designed not to raise alarms but the sum of the efforts is intended to ban. Take a look at the 57 other bills Michigan has been pushing with abortion language.

    • I do not doubt that there are! It’s a Republican state, and you can see that I am definitely pro-Choice. But my point is if someone is going to criticize a bill, then the facts better be in it. If it is HB 5713, then why didn’t the articles reference that one? Now with the coercion screening, I do support that. The clinic should ask if the woman has been coerced into getting an abortion. The people working these clinics are NOT going to be your anti-choice bible-thumping radicals, so they are not going to grill the woman. They will simply ask if they’ve been coerced, which I think is a plus. That may be a good opportunity for a woman who lives in a abusive household to speak up.

        • Thank you for that link. Now that’s the type of references which I would like to have to write about. I am very pro-choice, and madder than a stirred up nest of hornets about all these f-ing bills sprouting and growing like cancerous tumors throughout the U.S. But one thing, though, from what I’ve read so far, I still do not think the coercion addition is bad, and the reason being is I am a former victim of spousal abuse. Every day either verbal or physical for four years until I finally drove away with nothing but a suitcase in the back of my car. You’d be surprised as to what an abusive spouse/boyfriend/whoever will make their woman do. Very surprised.

          I volunteer with a dog training program in the women’s prison her in New Mexico where dogs are rescued from the local shelter and based upon their temper and disposition are taken into the prison where the women inmates help re-socialize and train the dog and make them adoptable. Wonderful program and VERY successful. Women who were raised in nothing else but abusive homes completely full of drugs and alcohol, told they were worthless, a bitch, a whore, etc. since they were a small child, knew nothing about love and respect – then for the first time in their lives feel what true love, compassion, and responsibility is about. But there is one woman in particular, who I will call Jayne Dough, who was in such a horribly abusive marriage that she actually committed murder because her husband, who I will call Dick (short for dickhead) demanded she partake in the crime. Dick threatened Jayne’s life and she knew that he would make good on his threat if she did not do what she was told.

          I know it may be hard, if even possible, for most people to understand this. Until I met Jayne (hell, for that matter, until I started volunteering with this program and began meeting and talking to the women in it) and got to know her as well as I do now, I never would have believed that any man could have that much control over another person – in this case a spouse – that she would actually kill an unknown innocent person because she was told to do so. It was actually a “group” crime where Dick, another man and Jayne broke into a home with the sole purpose of committing murder because Dick wanted to know what it would be like. No other reason than that. Dick was, and still is, violently imbalanced. Dick’s abusive and insane behavior didn’t show at first, which is not uncommon. Jayne was young, under 18, when they first met and before she realized what was happening, he gained complete control over her through mental abuse. She fell into that chasm of brainwashing which is very normal for relationships like this. They eventually married, even though she did not want to do so, but was afraid to say no to him. Drugs came into the picture somewhere along the way. Then one night when they’re all very messed up, Dick decided he wanted to know what it would be like to break in to someone’s home, overtake the person, mentally torture them, then eventually kill them. Well, to wind this up, they were to all shoot their victim at the same time. Jayne purposely missed and shot into the floor, but the others did not miss. She has been given a life sentence even though she did not fire the fatal shot. She was given a life sentence because the Dick and the other person partnered up and turned against her in court.

          I’ve carried on more than I meant to, but the whole point here is that Jayne does not have an evil bone in her body – although she does have some psychological problems – and left to her own will would never EVER have done anything even remotely violent to another person or animal. But because of the horribly abusive relationship she was in, literally feared for her life. Jayne was so controlled by Dick that she committed an act that went against every fiber of her being. She was like a robot and Dick held the remote control. Oh, and another thing about Jayne… she comes from a wonderfully loving home with educated, professional parents. Jayne is incredibly intelligent – genius level IQ. Although her parents divorced and remarried, it was a civil divorce. So she did not come from a dysfunctional home which often sets the stage for women and “eases” their ability to be controlled by another.

          Now, to answer the question I know pops up in many people’s heads… Yes, many inmates lie, or do not disclose all the facts about the reason for being incarcerated. Do I really believe everything that Jayne has told me? Absolutely, one-hundred percent, and no doubt in my mind I believe her. I’ve met Jayne’s family a few times, spoken with Jayne’s therapists. Her family are wonderful people. So supportive and understanding. Jayne has earned her Associates Degree and is working towards her Bachelors.

          The vast majority of the women in the dog training program have been in some sort of abusive relationship and most grew up in broken homes. Many do not know any other way of life than being abused, belittled and controlled by others.

          In applying this novel I just wrote (sorry, I didn’t mean to go into such detail) to the topic at hand here about being coerced into having an abortion – this happens a lot more than most people realize. A lot more.

          I do think this is a good addition – so long as the pregnant woman does not have to jump through a hundred hoops, told to go home and think about it for 24 hours, etc. Also, the employees or volunteers at the clinic are there to help her – I seriously doubt that they will do any “grilling” or impose any further duress than the women are already going through. If the employees ask their patients with kindness, support and compassion then hopefully the women will get a feeling that the clinic truly cares and is there to help and protect any women should they admit that they want the baby and are being forced to have the abortion for whatever reason. And hopefully any pregnant woman who truly is being forced will take this opportunity to speak up and seek support and shelter with the purpose of escaping her current abusive situation at home.

      • I agree with you totally here. Women all over the world are being forced into one thing or another against their will. You would think that eradication of abuse would be paramount. Forcing women to have children regardless of the circumstances ie. rape, teenage marriage. I don’t know anything about the pastor in your other blog. I couldn’t believe the Koran burning. But I bet this guy entertains child marriage.

  4. I think the issue is poor proof reading by the editors of those publications. Every conversation with my politically minded friends has been about “the abbortion super bill” which includes HB 5711, HB 5712 & HB 5713.

    • Oh, the other link just given here in the comments most definitely is NOT good. It’s called the “pain-capable unborn child protection act” and I’m not happy at all about this. I’ll be writing about it later. And yes, that’s my point. If someone is going to write an article… have your references right! By pointing to the wrong bill, then people will have less respect for what they write about. Especially when it comes to bills, I want to read what it says myself. I may not understand everything, but I’m going to give it a go.

  5. You are right about the poor articles. It happens quite a bit especially when these bills are moving really fast. But let’s not shoot messenger. There is nothing to support in these bills.

    • In my personal opinion, when it comes to publishing an article on line, one should always check the sites they are linking to the source – especially if the source is what the entire article is about. Doesn’t matter if it’s a main stream media site or a blogger. Now on either of those sites, for me anyway, I will always have to check their source links for verification of facts. That is just very bad reporting no matter what the topic or genre – politics, sports, entertainment, etc. I’ve always preferred Huffington Post over sites like CNN, MSNBC, etc., and that’s who they’re trying to compete with. But their reliability dropped a notch for me. I’m only offering my opinion. LOL… and you know, everyone has them. 🙂

  6. Thanks Michelle for digging through all this material! I’m afraid liberals are learning from the opposition that facts don’t need to get in the way…which is a terrible shame. We have been reminded by the GOP for years that it’s just a game to play.

    • I was listening to Stephanie Miller talk show on the radio on the way into work this morning (progressive liberal – and she’s awesome!). Anyway, Jesse Ventura was on and he just released another book, “DemoCRIPS and ReBLOODlicans: No More Gangs in Government” and he said a LOT of incredible things. And he is highly opposed to what is going on with the corporations, Citizens United, etc. Support Occupy Movement and gave some numbers that were very frightening.

      I will have to check it out. Just released the book. Although he’s a Ron Paul supporter (I don’t like a few things he wants to do), he said some stuff that made me shiver and the hair stood up on my neck.

      • Jesse is Jesse and I liked him better as an actor. As for Ron Paul…well, he’s much better than his son Rand Paul whom the people of Kentucky felt compelled to elect to office with no clear reason why? Watch that joker run for President next time. He thinks he can hang on his dad’s coat tails.

        • His dad has coat tails to hang off of? I don’t like Ron Paul because he wants the states to take control of everything and also to do away with EPA and some other organizations that I feel are very important. BUT I do LOVE the fact he wants to do away with the Federal Reserve.

  7. I am also pro choice and I felt exactly like you did, until I read the Bill.

    The bill makes no exceptions for woman who have miscarriages. That’s right so, of you planned on having a baby for years and suddenly at 4 weeks of gestation you lose your baby, even of its in the toilet you are responsible for brining it into the medical facility, or coroners office and disclosing what you want to do with the “fetal remains”

    How cruel and traumatic to woman, who has just experienced a miscarriage.

    Also in the case your baby has a genetic defect and classifies as terminal after 20 weeks you cannot abort the baby. Meaning it will die in intro or few hours after delivery, you have no choice but to wait until your baby dies a harsh and cruel death.

  8. Do you mind if I reblog your Michigan posts on my own blog? Or at least refer back to them in some way? I made a post that I now regret based on the Jezebel commentary, and I’d like make a correction. Thanks!

  9. Pleeeaaaasssse, you bash liberals and conservatives for distorting the facts yet you characterize conservatives as waging a “war on women”. When you use such inflammatory language you lose credibility. The pro-life crowd is full of women and more of them than ever are young women who have seen the false and destructive promises of “sexual freedom” for what they truly are. If there is a war on women the pro-abortion forces are guilty of the charge as more than half of all unborn children aborted are little girls.

    • Lose credibility? Well honestly, how you feel about me really is of no concern of mine – I really could care less. Pro-life, pro-abortion, whatever you want to call it. I am anti-government-and-men-telling-women-what-they-can-and-cannot-do-with-their-bodies. Go to church and pray then. But stay out of women’s lives and reproductive decisions. Now, as far as the fetuses being little girls… are you insane? This isn’t the middle east. Americans do not prefer boys over girls. In fact, most families want little girls first – especially the first-time expectant mother. Plus, this is a perfect example of taking a statistic and twisting it to fit your needs…. It just so happens that, overall, there are more women than men in the world. Therefore it would make sense that there are more female fetuses aborted.

  10. As a heads up, Jezebel is known for its sarcastic off the cuff writing style. As a woman in Michigan who is now very concerned about all of these bills making me an incubator and nothing more, I understand this is a serious issue and should be dealt with as such, but some people like Jezebel.

    It was started by Gawker. I mean Gawker isn’t exactly known for its writers not inserting their opinions into the pieces. It’s ALL about that.

    So I think, next time… Scope the site more.
    Their target demographic is urban hipsters in their mid twenties to late thirties. Maybe that will help?

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