LANSING — State Rep. Marcia Hovey-Wright (D-Muskegon) condemned three of bills introduced to the state Legislature this week that would eliminate nearly all abortions in Michigan and require any women seeking an abortion to submit herself to demeaning and insulting medical procedures before obtaining one.

“The attacks on women’s health coming out of this Legislature have been unrelenting, and women won’t stand for it,” said Hovey-Wright, chairwoman of the Progressive Women’s Caucus. “One of the new bills is so extreme that similar bills have routinely been ruled unconstitutional when they have been passed in other states. The other insults women by second-guessing their ability to make reasoned and informed health care decisions on their own by pressuring them to listen to a fetal heartbeat before having a medical procedure. Women don’t want the government interfering with their health care decisions, and this must stop.”

House Bill 5643 would require doctors to determine whether a fetal heartbeat is detectable before performing an abortion, and also requires a doctor to ask a woman if she wants to hear it and inform her of other options besides abortion. HB 5644 prohibits abortions when a fetal heartbeat is present, which occurs around five weeks after conception. This is often earlier than many women even realize that they are pregnant, meaning a woman’s opportunity to have an abortion would close before she would be able to have one. HB 5645 makes violating that law punishable by up to four years in prison.

“Republicans like to say they are the party of small government, but they can’t seem to take their hands off women and their medical choices,” Hovey-Wright said. “While I have no doubt that these laws would be overturned by legal challenges, it’s foolish to pass laws we already know have been ruled unconstitutional elsewhere and that will require a costly legal battle. Worse, it is insulting to all the women of Michigan to insinuate that women aren’t intelligent and competent enough to make their own medical decisions without the state’s interference. These are horrible bills, and they must be defeated.”