House Bills 5711 represents a sweeping attack on the reproductive health of people that can get pregnant. This bill is vague, poorly drafted, and will have serious ramifications for access of these individuals to health care services. They are being rushed through the legislature with only a week from introduction to committee.
HB 5711 will shut down all but about 3 family planning clinics in the state because of its onerous requirements. It will require liability insurance of some doctors at a level that is not available in Michigan. It will require that fetal tissue from early induced or spontaneous abortions (as early as ten weeks) be issued a death certificate, requiring a medical examiner, funeral director, and either cremation at a crematorium or burial at a cemetery. It will make a private event in a person's life very public.
At the same time it will prohibit the use of telecommunication technology to provide early medical (prescription) abortion access. This will disproportionately affect pregnant people living far from a family planning clinic. The bill will impose so many requirements that it will make it difficult and cost-prohibitive for clinics and doctors to continue to provide their services – in a state where 83% of the counties lack abortion services right now.
This bill will enforce mandatory coercion screenings for all those seeking abortion, requiring doctors to ask pregnant people about coercion by spouses, parents, siblings, grandparents, and even employers. This could make family members or friends who offer to pay for an abortion subject to criminal charges. This will be required despite the fact that, in abusive situations, a pregnant person is far more likely to be coerced into continuing a pregnancy than to abort, the bill does not require screening for coercion to carry a pregnancy to term, nor are doctors required to interrogate their patients before other medical procedures.
This legislation must be stopped! Join with Michigan NOW to tell the Michigan Legislature that pregnant people and their doctors alone should make medical decisions, not politicians. Michigan House Bill 5711 are an insult to those who are pregnant, their doctors, families, and the residents of Michigan.