Michigan’s stealth attack on abortion rights

Updated

Outrage over the right-to-work bill drew thousands of protesters to the Michigan Capitol today, but it’s just one of many bills their Republican-controlled lame-duck legislature has decided to rush into law in the final days of the session.

Both chambers have already passed a bill that prohibits insurance plans from covering abortion services. The bill requires any employers who wish to cover abortion services in their plan to add an additional rider in order to do so. The CEO of a local Planned Parenthood chapter told the Detroit Free Press that, as far as she knows, the law is “unprecedented in the country.”

Other bills working their way through the state house include:

  • a regulatory bill that could stop doctors from performing abortions and cause clinics to shut down
  • a bill that prohibits tele-medicine, which would limit abortion access for women in rural areas, especially restrictive considering that 83% of counties have no abortion provider
  • another that allows doctors to refuse to perform abortions if they have moral objections


The omnibus package of anti-choice bills created controversy when it was first pursued this summer, inspiring a passionate speech from State Representative Lisa Brown that got her kicked off the Michigan House floor for saying the word “vagina.”

The package stalled in the fall after significant backlash, but now, with only a few days left until their session runs out, Republicans appear determined to get them to Rick Snyder’s desk. 

Michigan's stealth attack on abortion rights

Updated