Angi Becker Stevens is a fiction writer whose work has appeared in many print and online literary magazines, in addition to being anthologized in Best of the Web 2010 and nominated for a Pushcart Prize. As a member of The Organization For a Free Society, she organizes around all varieties of social justice, and is particularly involved in feminist and polyamorous activism.
HB 4187 is about more than just the physical violation of a woman’s body with a transvaginal ultrasound wand. It is also about the mental and emotional violation of forcing women to view the most visually-detailed ultrasound images possible, in what is clearly an attempt to cause guilt and shame.
The meaning of “choice” here in Michigan—as in many other states in the country—has eroded a great deal since that day 40 years ago when the Roe decision was handed down. How did we end up here? And more importantly, how do we move forward?
Clearly not content with the recent passage of one of the most extreme pieces of anti-abortion legislation in the country, Michigan lawmakers are already hard at work pushing for still more barriers to abortion access.
Those who seek to dismantle unions and those who seek to deny women's bodily autonomy are not two separate groups with two separate motivations. They are the same conservative politicians, motivated by a desire to protect their own interests by preserving the current hierarchy—one which places rich white men at the top of the social and economic order.
On the Senate floor earlier today, Senator Rebekah Warren—longtime champion of reproductive rights—offered several amendments to the bill, all of which were defeated. Warren argued for the removal of the tele-med ban, pointing out the necessity of tele-medicine access in a state with many rural areas that lack abortion providers.
It's been six months since the Michigan State House voted in favor of HB 5711, the anti-abortion "super bill" considered one of the most extreme in the country. Now that the year is about to come to a close, it appears that the bill is back on the legislature's agenda, and is expected to be voted on by the Senate as soon as today.
The main portion of Michigan's anti-abortion "super-bill"--HB 5711--passed through the state House easily on Wednesday, by a vote of 70-39. All of the 64 Republican representatives, as well as 6 Democrats, voted in favor of the bill.
In Michigan, it is clear that the GOP does not have a monopoly on anti-woman legislation. We need keep a close eye on our Democratic legislators as well, and hold them accountable when they vote against women’s health.
Michigan House Democratic floor leader Kate Segal and Planned Parenthood of Michigan respond to the anti-choice "super-bill," quickly becoming known as one of the most extreme pieces of anti-choice legislation in the country.
Far from being an exception to the rule, nearly all of the women affected by a ban on abortions after 20 weeks will be those making the excruciating choice to terminate a wanted pregnancy due to fetal anomalies incompatible with life.
Rendon’s HB 5711 is the first bill in the state to roll so many abortion restrictions into one package, threatening to create serious barriers to abortion access for both abortion-seeking women and abortion providers in one fell swoop.
Over a dozen pieces of proposed extreme anti-choice legislation are currently at various stages of being passed into Michigan law. From personhood to ultrasounds, fetal pain bills to provider regulations, the proposed legislation in Michigan seems to represent every variety of anti-choice tactic we’ve witnessed in state legislations across the country in recent months.
While there has been much fury recently over Virginia’s recently proposed transvaginal ultrasound bill, other states’ anti-choice lawmakers have chosen the equally unacceptable route of psychological—rather than physical—violation of women.
We must stand with Planned Parenthood. But let’s not do so in a way that denies the extreme importance of all the services they provide. As advocates for reproductive justice, the last thing we can afford to do is allow ourselves to become complicit in the stigmatization of abortion.
Following in the footsteps of 45 other states, Michigan was poised to adopt legislation that would require schools to develop an anti-bullying policy. At the last minute, however, language was added to the bill that places LGBTQ students in more danger instead of less: a specific allowance for bullying that is done in the name of religious belief.
Up until the latter half of the twentieth century, arguments against abortion focused primarily on enforcing traditional gender roles for women, not on "saving babies." We need to reclaim the debate by focusing on women.
As far as HB 4799 is concerned, threatening to divorce your wife unless she gets an abortion has a $10,000 price tag. Threatening to divorce her if she gets an abortion, however, is perfectly acceptable. In fact, the state itself is perfectly willing to participate in coercion against abortion.
Last week, the Michigan House appropriations committee voted to approve a budget that includes a staggering $201.4 million cut to community health funding. The budget will eliminate all state funding currently available for family planning.
This language of “informed consent” merely serves as a thinly veiled attempt at shaming women who seek abortion, a shaming made all the more hypocritical when carried out in the supposed name of women’s health and safety.
As if there were not already enough barriers to abortion access constructed in the name of “protecting women,” Arizona has become the first state to ban abortions performed on the basis of the race or sex of the fetus.
Conservatives in Michigan are at once proposing to make working-class motherhood more financially challenging while at the same time placing further restrictions on the choice of whether and when to become a mother in the first place.
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