News Release: Senate Acts to Protect Dignity of Women With Abortion Industry Reforms

December 12, 2012

(Lansing)—Today, Michigan Catholic Conference recognized the State Senate for approving with bipartisan support legislation that places the dignity of women above the interests of the abortion industry. House Bill 5711, which also passed the House of Representatives in June with bipartisan support, would license and allow for state health officials to inspect all of the 32 abortion clinics in Michigan, 28 of which are currently not licensed and most have rarely, if ever been inspected. The legislation must be concurred by the House before going to Governor Snyder for his signature.

“It is regrettable for a woman to seek an abortion; the least that can be done is to make sure abortion facilities in Michigan are clean and meet basic standards of care, and that’s what this legislation accomplishes,” said Rebecca Mastee, Michigan Catholic Conference Policy Advocate. “Michigan Catholic Conference has said throughout this debate that a woman’s health and safety must be a priority, and we’re thankful that the Senate has placed the dignity of women ahead of the financial interests of the abortion industry.”

House Bill 5711 rolls several measures that previously were addressed by the Legislature into one pro-life “omnibus” bill, including legislation that prohibits abortion coercion, requires the remains of aborted children to be disposed of in a humane manner, and prohibits the abortion pill from being distributed by a physician via an internet camera. The licensing and inspection component of the legislation was recently found to have overwhelming support, with 85 percent of respondents to a statewide survey of likely voters approving the provision while 76 percent of Democrat pro-choice women approved the measure.

Currently, only 4 of the 32 abortion facilities in Michigan are licensed by the state and, as such, the other 28 are rarely or if ever inspected by the state health bureau for basic sanitary requirements that are expected of other outpatient surgical facilities in Michigan. The passage of House Bill 5711 will ensure abortion facilities in Michigan meet Bureau of Health Systems standards that pertain to disaster and emergency procedures, medication and medical storage requirements, waste disposal requirements, sanitary procedures and other basic patient care requirements [Link no longer available —Ed.] and administrative rules, such as:

The legislation also provides exemptions to physical environment specifications at the discretion of the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. House Bill 5711 passed the State Senate 27-10 and must now be concurred by the House of Representatives before heading to Governor Snyder for his signature.

Michigan Catholic Conference is the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in this state.

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