A package of bills removing numerous limits on abortions in the state has now been advanced by the Michigan legislature.
The Reproductive Health Act (RHA) is a set of laws pertaining to abortion that were approved by the Michigan House on Wednesday. In a press statement, House Democrats said that the package abolished laws that unfairly targeted abortion providers and were “medically unnecessary and harmful.”
Speaking pro tem and chair of the Progressive Women’s Caucus, Democratic state representative Laurie Pohutsky said that abortion rights in America have entered “a new era.”
Senate Bills 474, 476, and 477 and House Bills 4949, 4953, 4954, 4955, and 4956 made up the RHA.
A basic right to reproductive freedom, including “abortion care,” is declared in the package.
The one clause that restricted abortions only after fetal viability was compromised by enabling any medical expert to determine that an abortion would be required to save the mother’s life, bodily or mental health, or overall “well-being.”
The bill said that the mother’s physical, mental, or psychological state, as well as her age and family history, were all significant considerations in determining well-being.
The bill also repeals the prohibition on partial-birth abortions, limitations on abortion insurance coverage, requirements for abortion providers to hold a license, and prohibitions on public colleges referring students for abortion services.
Leaders and activists on the Democratic side have protested that the final RHA did not go far enough.
Legislators removed many measures from the RHA as a result of Democratic Representative Karen Whitsett’s opposition, including the requirement for a 24-hour waiting time before getting an abortion and the option to use Medicaid funds for the procedure.