The Michigan House fast-tracked an anti-choice “super bill” in an attempt primarily to assist candidates in their re-election campaigns in the fall. With nearly two-thirds of the Michigan House endorsed by Michigan Right to Life, the passage of the bill in the House was a near foregone conclusion. Since the Senate is unlikely to take it up until fall, Representatives are able to campaign on the issue all summer.
However, that may not be an advantage for Republican Rep. Holly Hughes, who is running in the 91st House district. Hughes, who is running in a swing district that is expected to be a tight race in the fall, is being called on to defend her vote for the bill at a women’s issues round table held in her district — one she did not attend, but her challenger, Collene Lamonte, did.
To justify, Hughes had decided to claim her vote was for women. Democrats disagree with that assessment.
Hughes said she voted in favor of the first bill in the proposed package because she believes it will help create a “safe place for women” with inspected clinics and a provision making it a crime to coerce a woman into having an abortion.
“No woman should be coerced to do anything,” Hughes said. “I view the bill as looking out for women.”
Lamonte, a Muskegon Public Schools teacher from Montague, said the Republican agenda would take back women’s health issues to the “Dark Ages.”
State Rep. Marcia Hovey-Wright, D-Muskegon, said the anti-abortion bill and the claims by Republicans make her angry.
“They claim it is for the health of women and making clinics safer,” Hovey-Wright said. “That is bull.”
Hughes has once more received an endorsement from Michigan Right to Life for 2012. The group did not endorse her primary opponent.