Michigan’s onmibus anti-abortion “super bill” was nearly guaranteed to pass the state senate the moment it was announced it would be up for a vote. According to Michigan activists, of the 38 members serving in the senate, only eight state senators openly refer to themselves as fully pro-choice, leaving the chamber a virtual lock for passage for any abortion restriction that anti-choice special interest groups can design.
The fact that the final vote was only 27 to 10 is perhaps the best indicator of exactly how overreaching the super bill is. A small number of legislators who don’t identify as pro-choice rejected the bill, considering it far too extreme.
“It’s hard to believe that this sort of assault on women is continuing after an 18 point gender gap on election day and the women of Michigan standing up and calling on the legislature not to take up this kind of legislation,” Meghan Hodge Groen, Director of Government Relations for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan told RH RealityCheck, pointing to the five new pro-choice legislators elected in November as a sign of the voters refusal to have legislators make medical decisions for the women of the state.”
Although the legislation has passed soundly in both chambers, they were not passed with a veto-proof majority, making Republican Governor Rick Snyder the last chance to stop the bill from becoming law. As a politician who will be responsible to the full state when it comes to his own political future, Groen notes that Snyder will be forced to choose between the will of his party and the people of the state he represents.
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“This is clearly the wrong decision for Michigan and this isn’t going to do anything to move Michigan forward,” said Groen. “We call on Governor Snyder to recognize the will of Michigan voters and veto this extreme legislation.”
Nancy Northrup, President and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights echoes the need for a veto as well. “HB 5711 is a prime example of deceptive nature of the national anti-choice agenda,” she stated via press release. “Under the pretext of protecting women’s health, this bill would completely undermine women’s access to safe and affordable reproductive care—and ultimately place their lives and well-being at risk.”
“Michigan’s public officials were elected to stand up for women’s health and rights, not to trample them. We strongly urge Governor Snyder to reject this attack on women’s constitutionally-protected rights.”