Following similar efforts across the country, Republican conservatives in the Michigan legislature are pushing for new regulations that would ban late-term abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, the Detroit News
A state House committee has approved a package of three bills that would also require clinics to be licensed surgical centers to perform abortions, set new guidelines for the disposal of aborted fetuses, and make it a criminal act to coerce a woman into terminating a pregnancy.
The News reported that one of the bills, likely to be considered by the GOP-controlled state House next week, would specifically ban late-term abortions after 20 weeks or more but would allow a “narrow exception” if the mother’s life is at risk.
But the bill sponsored by state Republican Rep. Deb Shaughnessy would not allow late-term abortions for rape, incest or fetal defects.
If the legislation passes, the News reported, Michigan would join at least eight other states with Republican majority legislatures that have approved similar bans, despite Supreme Court rulings upholding the practice.
“The unborn can’t fight for themselves,” Shaughnessy said. “I will continue to fight for [protecting life] no matter what the Supreme Court says.”
Elizabeth Nash, issues manager for the New York-based Guttmacher Institute, an abortion-rights organization that monitors state abortion laws, told the News that the Republican takeover of many state governments in 2010 led to 92 new restrictions on abortions last year alone.
Previously, the record stood at 34 new laws in 2005.
“These kind of provisions, should they become law, really puts Michigan in the same league on abortion restrictions as Kansas, Arizona, Alabama and Oklahoma,” she told the newspaper.
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