The main portion of Michigan’s anti-abortion “super-bill” — HB 5711 — passed through the state House easily on Wednesday, by a vote of 70 to 39. All of the 64 Republican representatives, as well as six Democrats, voted in favor of the bill. HB 5711 will enact mandatory “coercion screenings” for all women in need of safe abortion care, prohibit tele-med abortion, and enforce several new costly and restrictive “TRAP” regulations on both abortion providers and clinics.
Perhaps the most controversial aspect of the “super-bill,” however — a ban on all abortions after 20 weeks, with no exception for rape, incest, or health — has yet to be voted on by the House. That ban would be enacted by a separate-but-connected piece of legislation, HB 5713, which has not yet been brought before the House for a vote. Ari Adler, spokesman for Republican House Speaker Jase Bolger, told The Detroit News that more time was needed to review that portion of the legislation, and to determine whether such a ban would be constitutional. There is still speculation, however, that the House could take up HB 5712 and 5713 as early as today, and protestors have once again filled the House gallery in anticipation of a vote.
On the House floor Wednesday, several Democratic Representatives spoke out boldly against HB 5711, and proposed ammendments to HB 5711 to regulate both vasectomies and the treatment of erectile dysfunction. Rep. Lisa Brown concluded her statement against the legislation by saying “And Finally Mr. Speaker, I’m flattered that you’re all so interested in my vagina, but no means no.” In yet another act of the state silencing women, Brown has been banned from speaking on the House floor during today’s session, without explanation.
Wednesday also saw the introduction of an additional piece of anti-abortion legislation in Michigan, HB 5731, aimed at banning the supposed practice of “sex-selective abortion.”
Even if HB 5712 and 5713 do in fact pass through the House today, the Senate is not expected to take up the legislation until the Fall. It is likely, however, that the strongly anti-abortion Senate will eventually vote favorably for the “super-bill,” which has been recommended by the House for immediate effect once passed.