A collection of bills that place tighter regulations on abortion providers in Michigan passed a committee of the state House on Thursday. The bills move to the full house for debate, says the Detroit News.
* Michigan House Bills 5711, 5712 and 5713 passed by margins of 13-5 and 13-4.
* Michigan HB 5711 would amend the public health code to clarify fetal death (including death by abortion). It would stipulate how fetal deaths should be reported and what should be done with fetal remains.
* HB 5711, the critical piece of in the package of abortion bills, would prohibit doctors from prescribing an abortion pill via consult on an internet camera.
* HB 5711 would require abortion centers to be licensed surgical facilities.
* The Detroit News says that during testimony heard on the bill, Edward Rivet, legislative director of Right to Life of Michigan, called the internet camera procedure a "webcam abortion."
* Detroit's Rep. Jimmy Womack, who is also a doctor and a past board member of Planned Parenthood in southeast Michigan, corrected Rivet's use of the term "webcam abortion." "There's no such thing as a webcam abortion. The webcam can't do the abortion," Womack said.
* Michigan HB 5712 would amend the state code of criminal procedure to make it illegal to coerce a woman into having an abortion.
* Michigan HB 5713 would amend the state penal code to stipulate the ways in which a woman might be forced into abortion, including assault and threats to terminate support or break off agreements.
* LifeNews.com describes the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which is another component of HB 5712 and HB 5713. This act would make it a crime to abort a child after the twentieth week of pregnancy when the unborn child is deemed capable of feeling pain.
* According to the Detroit News, the head of Planned Parenthood in Mid and South Michigan gave written testimony that the abortion bills put "burdensome requirements" by forcing facility upgrades on care centers which only dispense abortion pills and don't perform surgical abortions.
* The House Health Policy Committee passed the abortion package despite concerns from physicians that additional malpractice insurance may push some obstetricians and gynecologists out of Michigan.
* Dr. Timothy Johnson, of the University of Michigan's Von Voigtlander Women's Hospital said that though he doesn't believe women should be forced into having abortions, abusive partners are more likely to push women into maintaining pregnancies, not aborting.
Marilisa Kinney Sachteleben writes about people, places, events and issues in her home state of "Pure Michigan."
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