It’s been six months since the Michigan State House voted in favor of HB 5711, the anti-abortion “super bill” considered one of the most extreme in the country. Now that the year is about to come to a close, it appears that the bill is back on the legislature’s agenda, and is expected to be voted on by the Senate as soon as today. The bill is almost certain to pass the majority anti-choice Senate by a comfortable margin, and it is extremely unlikely that conservative governor Snyder will veto the bill once it reaches that point.
Update at 4:31 pm: HB 5711 has just passed in the Senate by a vote of 27-10.
Additionally, several other pieces of anti-choice legislation have been on the fast-track through the Michigan legislature in recent days. A package of Senate bills which would exclude abortion coverage as part of health insurance policies were passed in the Senate within the past week, and are expected to come before the House for a vote within days. The bills allow for insurance coverage of abortion only via the purchase of a hypothetical, optional “abortion rider” that women would need to pay for in advance; no such riders are actually currently available. A “conscienscious objection” bill, which would allow health providers to block women’s access to abortion and contraception on the basis of religious beliefs, is also quickly making it’s way through the legislative process. SB 975 would not only allow health care professionals the right to deny services to women seeking abortion or contraception, but would also allow employers to deny paying for contraceptive coverage as part of their employees’ insurance benefits. SB 975 has passed the Senate, and will be discussed by the House Committee on Insurance today. If it is recommended favorably by the committee, it too will likely be rapidy headed to the House for a vote.