Just a few years ago after the shakedown of the Covid-19 pandemic there was an attack on the rights of women and their access to receive medical treatment in regard to pregnancy. To be more exact, the supreme court made a ruling that would place abortion and child-bearing laws back into the hands of the states, allowing them to make their own decisions within their borders.

Some governing bodies across the country had already placed bills into their books that stated upon the reversal of the law that they would immediately ban the mother's rights to an abortion and other preventive measures. Michigan was a state that was close to dealing with these kinds of laws, but lawmakers swiftly decided to allow abortion under stricter guidelines. After reevaluating these rules and the statistics, the House and Senate are looking to adjust them in favor of the mother.

The Michigan House and Senate have created a mix of bills that will be known as the Reproductive Health Act, these bills were put together to combat what are called "trap" laws and repeal laws that were made to target restrictions on abortion access. Democrats and other advocates have said these laws are politically motivated and unnecessarily limit abortion access.

These bills were voted along party lines as all Democrats were in favor while all Republicans voted against these bills. They were still able to pass through the house and Senate. They must wait a week before voting on each other's laws, if they pass there then Governor Gretchen Whitmer can then sign them into law.

What's Changing?

The House passed Senate bills 474, 476 and 477 and House Bills 4949, 4951, and 4953 through 4956. These bills if passed into law will say that:

  • A repeal of penalties for partial-birth abortion.
  • Colleges can refer abortion services to students.
  • A person can file civil action against state agencies if they believe government violated Michigan’s new constitutional right to abortion.
  • A repeal of a law saying health providers that don’t perform abortions get priority when the state health department allocates money for reproductive services.

These things would then become legal for all parties involved. They have also looked at the previous laws because they were focused on things like abortion facility requirements regarding procedure room size and hallway width that treat locations like surgical centers and state-mandated information about alternatives like adoption. This information can include pictures of fetuses.

Differing Opinions

As expected, the Republicans and Democrats didn't agree on everything that was included in the bills. They were able to discuss and manage to keep most things in the bill but the two things that weren't changing were the 24-hour rule and using Medicaid to fund an abortion. The Democrats were looking to remove it, but the Republicans stayed on course and decided it should stay.

The 24-hour rule states that someone who is seeking abortion services must schedule their appointment at least 24 hours out to give it some thought, look for alternative options, and be 100% sure that this is the correct decision. They also don't want Medicaid being used for these services because that would cause elderly and other users to pay more because of the expensive surgery.

They are both concerned with the woman making an educated decision about her body, life, and the child's body and life. Some are saying that there shouldn't be any fewer patient safety regulations while others are trying to say there should be some wiggle room. Including with reporting to the government and informing the patient.

Abortion facilities and physicians will still be licensed and inspected, and providers will still be required to make sure patients understand the procedure – known as informed consent. Even though they may not have to report certain things they will still be inspected to ensure that they are providing services correctly. Many things are changing but they seem to be for the better.

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