Michigan Advances Anti-Choice Abortion Ban

Anti-choice policymakers in Michigan have gained traction in their recent efforts to pass two bills, HB 4833 and HB 4834, that would ban a second-trimester abortion procedure. Representative Laura Cox (R-Livonia) introduced these bills in the summer of 2015 in hopes of targeting a procedure known as “dilation and evacuation.” This standard procedure is used in almost all of the second-trimester abortions in the United States. It is also recommended for women who wish to terminate their pregnancies due to severe fetal medical complications. In Michigan, only 8% of the state’s abortions in the last year utilized this procedure, according to RH Reality Check. During a hearing Tuesday morning, a Republican-led committee voted to advance this bill to the House floor. If passed, the bill would make “D and E” abortions in Michigan a felony punishable by a $50,000 fine and up to two years in prison.

While six other states in the past year have attempted to pass similar legislation, only two have succeeded. Legislation similar to HB 4833 and HB 4834 has been ruled unconstitutional due to the precedent set in Roe v. Wade. The case ruled that a woman has the right to an abortion before fetal viability. Viability, the term used to describe the point at which the fetus would be potentially able to live outside a woman’s womb, has been said to be reached any time between the 24 and 28-week time frame. Therefore, the current bills under consideration are unconstitutional. The second-trimester of a pregnancy begins at 12 weeks, at which point the fetus is not yet viable.
As the latest attempt by anti-choice extremists to restrict access to abortion, this proves, yet again, that these policymakers do not rely on the facts. These proposed restrictions are not only unconstitutional, but they do not decrease the rate or necessity for abortion. Instead, these members should focus on preventative planning strategies rather than inhibiting a woman’s personal freedom.

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