House Republicans introduced bills to codify criminal penalties for abortion

LANSING, Mich., June 23, 2022 — House Republicans introduced bills yesterday to codify penalties for providing an abortion. The bills would punish providing an abortion with a 10-year felony sentence and supplying medications for the purpose of an abortion with a 20-year felony sentence. The Legislature has also filed a motion to intervene in the Court of Claims to defend the state’s 1931 near-total abortion ban.

“Republican legislators in Lansing are on a frenzied and cruel crusade to deny reproductive freedom and prosecute doctors to the most stringent and draconian extents they can imagine,” says House Democratic Leader Donna Lasinski (D-Scio Township). “People with cancer, ectopic pregnancies, and other conditions will be harmed permanently by this extreme narrowing of the definition of ‘imminent harm to the life of the mother’. This extreme perspective is now a mainstream Republican goal – reproductive freedom met with criminal prosecution and decades behind bars– all for exercising rights secured for Michiganders and Americans for fifty years.”

“Michigan Republicans see in this moment an historically ripe opportunity to once again oppress people under the antiquated and fanatical imaginings of the most extreme ideologies in their party,” says state Representative Laurie Pohutsky (D-Livonia), chair of the Progressive Women’s Caucus. “And the tragedy is they are right about how fraught this moment is. If Michiganders don’t stand up in this moment this exact kind of backward and perverse punish-first legislation will dominate the next half-century. These potential new laws, from the people defending the 1931 abortion ban in court, paint the true and dramatic portrait of what Republican leadership means for Michigan.”