The Michigan Senate approved a bill on Thursday to roll back abortion restrictions remaining on the books to reflect the state’s reproductive rights amendment approved last year by voters.
Democrats supported the bill and voted down a Republican proposal that would have made it tougher to obtain an abortion later in pregnancy.
Senator Thomas Albert (R-Lowell) argued that would fall within the bounds of the amendment.
“Are the Democrats going to elect to regulate abortion post-fetal viability as our constitution allows, or will they take the extreme position that abortion will be permissible up to the moment a child leaves the womb?” Albert said in a floor speech.
But Democrats said Albert’s proposal would intrude on decisions that should be left to patients and doctors.
Senator Erika Geiss (D-Taylor) said that would alter the bill to violate the intent of the reproductive rights amendment.
“Let’s leave medical decisions to the medical professionals and not to legislators who have none of the following: the ability to practice obstetric medicine or midwifery in the State of Michigan, or a uterus,” she said.
The bill would take the language of the constitutional amendment and place it in statute. One part of the Senate bill would also repeal a law that requires health insurers to charge policyholders extra for abortion coverage.
Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2022 decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, ending federal protections for abortion rights, Governor Gretchen Whitmer called on insurers to ensure coverage for abortion care. That was before the Michigan Reproductive Freedom for All amendment was approved by voters by a margin of 57% to 43%.
Story by Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network
Other headlines for Friday, Oct. 27, 2023:
- Low-income residents in Michigan would have access to an income-based water affordability program under bills heard in a House committee this week.
- The Detroit Historical Society is hosting the “Hustle: Entrepreneur Resource Summit” from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4.
- It’s Halloween weekend and there’s lots for little ones to get into, including a “Fall Fest” from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday at Clark Park; a scavenger hunt and screening of “Transylvania Transformania at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Kair/bowl Sensory Garden; A U-pick pumpkin patch party at Liberated Farms on Sunday; and a ScareFest at Palmer Park from 4 to 8 p.m. on Sunday.
- The Lions will host the Las Vegas Raiders Monday night, with Rocket Mortgage and the Downtown Detroit Partnership throwing a Tailgate Party from 2 to 6 p.m. in Grand Circus Park.
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