A flurry of new bills introduced to the state Legislature would move Michigan backward by enshrining a faith-based right to discriminate and rolling back prevailing wage protections. Some Republican lawmakers have also promised to introduce a “life at conception” law, seeking to completely ban abortion in Michigan. The Michigan House Democrats will fight against any proposals that endanger women, reduce wages and grant a legal excuse to discriminate. We’ll keep you posted as these issues come up for discussion in committee and on the House floor, but you can take a look at the bills yourself:
- The Religious Freedom Restoration Act (Senate Bill 4) would create a legal loophole for discrimination.
- House Bill 4052 would weaken prevailing wage statutes in Michigan.
- *UPDATE* HB 4145 would prohibit the state from giving funds to any organization that either provides abortions or even refers women to places that do — even if the referral is for something other than an abortion. In other words, a doctor at a women’s health center that receives state funds wouldn’t be able to tell a lower-income woman that she might obtain free or reduced-cost cervical cancer screenings at a place that offers a full range of women’s health services. The bill refers to MCL 333.1091 to 333.1091, which can be viewed here. It should be noted that state law already requires that no state funds that go to any organization can be used for abortion-related services.
- *UPDATE* HB 4146 would require an abortion performed after 19 weeks to only be done in a hospital that has a neonatal unit. Not only is this unnecessary, but it would make the cost of the procedure much more expensive, placing it out of reach for many women who need medical help to end a pregnancy that is risking her life (as the bill makes no exceptions for that) or to end a pregnancy that would result in a severe, life-ending deformity for the child.
You can read more about these pieces of legislation and other early proposals introduced to the Legislature here and here.