Michigan HB No. 5713: “The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act”
Previously, I had posted an article called, “Michigan’s Abortion HB 5711 is NOT as bad as Jezebel and HuffPo make it out to be” which centered on the fact that the information provided in an internet posting by both Jezebel and Huffington Post provided incorrect information. That is still true. However, the bill that both of these sites should also referenced is the Michigan HB No. 5713, which is also known as the “pain-capable unborn child protection act.” This bill makes it illegal to abort a child once it reaches 20 weeks in utero based upon the premise that the fetus may then feel pain. Here is the specific wording:
(4) A person shall not perform or attempt to perform an abortion upon a pregnant individual if it is determined that the unborn child has a probable postfertilization age of 20 or more weeks, unless in the reasonable clinical judgment of a physician the abortion is necessary to avert the pregnant individual’s death.
(5) A person who violates this section is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 15 years or a fine of not more than $7,500.00, or both.
After reading this bill, I find that I have mixed emotions. As I have stated many times, and is very apparent on this website, I am pro-choice. But I do support the coercion clauses which have been added, and that is only because I personally have known women who are so controlled by a man that they have done acts they would not have done had they not been in that relationship. I am also a victim of domestic violence during my first marriage. I do not feel that women will be “drilled” like many pro-choice advocates state. This is simply because those that work at abortion clinics or doctors offices where abortions are performed are there to assist the woman seeking an abortion. The employees are not going to do more than ask if they are being coerced by anyone to seek an abortion. There will be no “drilling” occurring. That would only be if a pro-life person is employed at an abortion clinic – and I seriously doubt that will happen. When the pregnant woman is asked in a kind and caring manner, this may be a prime opportunity for her to speak up and seek help if she is living in a domestically violent household.
Exaggerations do not help any cause.
Where I have mixed feelings is with the 20-week “cut off” date for abortions. Twenty weeks is just shy of five months. On one hand I think, “wouldn’t the pregnant woman have found out and had enough time to seek the abortion by twenty weeks?” But that is a completely ignorant thought which I am sure most anti-choice men have go through the empty heads. This bill mandates a severe time limit on when a woman can get an abortion without exceptions for the health of the woman or in cases where there is a severe fetal anomaly. Often an abnormality will not show until later stages. But the pro-choice side of me simply does not like nor approve of any government body creating laws which directly affect any woman, their pregnancy and reproductive rights over all.
I do not like abortion and would rather not see it happen, however I am opposed to this bill and any other bill which restricts women’s rights. Each pregnancy is unique, and the decision must be left entirely in the hands of the mother and hopefully the father and other family members. I would hope that the decision to abort is thought out carefully and based upon what is best for all parties involved. This includes, but not limited to, the health of the mother, the health of the fetus, the health of the infant if born, the economic background of the expecting mother, and the environment in which a child would be raised. These are matters which no government should place restrictions or any law upon. If anything, the time and money which pro-life people and our state politicians have spent would be much better served in preventative care rather than waiting until a woman has an unwanted pregnancy.
Lastly, illegalizing abortion will not stop it. Abortions will just move into the dark and dirty back rooms just like they were before we actually started acting like intelligent human beings. Evolution is now started to regress.
If you have not read my prior posting on these Michigan bills, please do so. There are some other items listed which will make it more difficult for doctors offices to continue with abortive procedures.
LegiScan: Michigan House Bill Number 5713, the “The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act”
Eclecta Blog: VIDEOS of Michigan Republicans shutting down House committee hearing on omnibus package of anti-abortion bills
Eclecta Blog: Michigan House Republicans delay vote on anti-choice legislation in the face of huge protest at state Capitol
A great post Michelle. I love the responsible and rational way you address the harsh realities involved with abortion.
Thanks. It’s not a pleasant thing to deal with. One of those harsh realities of life and shouldn’t be sugar-coated.
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Using the argument that abortion should not be restricted because it will be returned to the back alley is not a sound argument. Laws are enacted to regulate behavior that is considered by society to be immoral. Arguing that people are going to act immorally regardless of the law is an argument that there should be no laws that regulate behavior. Violent crime happens continually throughout this country, but I do not (and hope you don’t) advocate for relaxing the restrictions against it.
Abortions returning to the back alleys is not the ONLY reason to keep abortion legal. Like anything in life, it’s not that simple and there are many reasons to keep abortion legal. For one, I most certainly do NOT want YOU to tell ME what I can and cannot do with my body – just as I cannot have you sterilized because I don’t think you need to breed any offspring. We have enough close-minded people the way it is who love to tell others what they can and can’t do – and half the time, their own lives are a mess and they should be tending to their own affairs.