Extreme Abortion Ban Awaits Michigan Governor’s Signature

Earlier this week, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) quietly approved anti-union “right-to-work” legislation, signing the bill into law behind closed doors despite widespread protests from unions. But that’s not the only radical piece of legislation the governor is likely to sign during the last few weeks of the lame duck session. Early on Friday morning, HB 5711 — a massive 45-page anti-abortion bill that combines several attacks on women’s reproductive freedom into one measure — passed the Michigan House by a 72–35 vote, and will now be sent straight to Snyder’s desk.

The House first passed HB 5711 in June. But after the state Senate made some slight changes to HB 5711 on Wednesday — removing the provision that would have required doctors to dispose of fetal remains in the same manner that they must handle the disposal of dead bodies, the first proposal of its kind in the nation — the legislation needed to be re-approved by the House. Even without the provision regarding fetal remains, the omnibus bill still seeks to impose a host of new restrictions on women seeking to terminate a pregnancy, doctors who administer abortion services, and women’s health clinics.

The state’s last-minute push to threaten women’s health services is directly contradictory to the message that voters sent in last month’s election. The majority of Michigan residents support legal access to abortion services. And this particular piece of legislation sparked a massive outcry over the summer, culminating in a defiant performance of Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues on the steps on the Michigan Capitol building.

Nonetheless, the Detroit Free Press reports that Snyder is expected to sign HB 5711 into law.