LANSING – Democratic legislators on the House Criminal Justice committee came out in opposition today of a package of bills that would severely limit a woman’s access to safe abortions. The Democratic committee members pushed the fact that substandard care should never be the practice in any health situation, and questioned legislation that would put women who choose to end a pregnancy at risk.

“This goes beyond denying a woman a choice. This legislation mandates how doctors practice medicine. If that procedure is what’s medically best for the woman, then it should be legal and the doctor should be able to perform what he or she and the patient decide is best,” House Criminal Justice Committee vice chairwoman Vanessa Guerra (D-Saginaw) said. “While there may be differing opinions on the matter of choice in our state, we cannot advance laws that will cause detrimental harm to women. All women deserve to have the best, safest options available to them, even if they don’t decide to end a pregnancy at all.”

House Bill 4833, sponsored by Rep. Laura Cox (R-Livonia), would ban the safest form of second-trimester abortion, a process used by a large majority of health professionals in Michigan. HB 4834, also sponsored by Cox, adds sentencing guidelines for HB 4833.

“These bills are not about medicine. They are instead about playing politics – and this could put the health of Michigan women in jeopardy by interfering with the doctor-patient relationship,” House Criminal Justice Committee member Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit) said.

The House Criminal Justice Committee has previously taken up coercive abortion bills, advancing them to the House Floor along party lines. The Republicans on the committee, who have the majority vote, are comprised of all men.

“Today is a sad day for the health of women in our state,” House Criminal Justice Committee member Marcia Hovey-Wright (D-Muskegon) said. “With this vote we have effectively dismissed the best advice of medical professionals and substituted the ideological agenda of special interest groups. In no other circumstance would it be acceptable for a bunch of politicians to step into the exam room and dictate how a doctor performs his or her job. Making criminals of doctors who work every day to deliver the best medical care possible is unconscionable and reveals the true agenda of our colleagues across the aisle.”