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.
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.
“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.
“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.
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