The Michigan State Senate passed HB 5711, an omnibus anti-abortion bill that sparked widespread protests over the summer when it was first considered in the House, by a 27–10 vote on Wednesday afternoon. The legislation has been stalled since it passed Michigan’s House in June.
The measure represents one of the nation’s most far-reaching abortion restrictions. When Michigan lawmakers first took up HB 5711 over the summer, hundreds of protesters rallied against the massive 45-page, GOP-sponsored legislation. HB 5711 would impose a host of new restrictions on women seeking to terminate a pregnancy — such as requiring doctors to prove that their patients haven’t been “coerced” into having the procedure, limiting abortion access for women in rural areas, and imposing guidelines for disposing of fetal remains in the same way that the state disposes of dead bodies. The legislation also seeks to mandate unnecessarily and complicated regulations that could force the state’s abortion clinics out of business.
In addition to the recently approved anti-union legislation that Michigan lawmakers pushed through their current lame duck session, state legislators have also been busy advancing a slew of extreme anti-choice initiatives over the past week. The Michigan Senate approved measures that will prevent private insurance companies from offering coverage for abortion services and allow doctors to refuse to perform abortions based solely on their personal beliefs.
HB 5711 is now headed back to the House to be considered for final passage, since the Senate made a few minor changes to the legislation. Republicans hold the majority in the state’s House by a 59–51 margin.