We knew it was coming. It was only a matter of when. That “when” was yesterday. Yesterday was when ultra-conservative Republican legislator Thomas Hooker introduced House Bills 4145 and 4146.
HB 4145 is a one-sentence bill that says, “Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the Department of Community Health, all other State departments, and all State agencies shall not allocate State funds through grants or contracts to entities that engage in any of the activities described in Section 1(1) [of Public Act 360 of 2002.]”
PA 360 lists two things in Section 1(1):
- Performing elective abortions or allowing the performance of elective abortions within a facility owned or operated by the qualified entity.
- Referring a pregnant woman to an abortion provider for an elective abortion.
They not only want to prohibit state business with any organization that performs abortions, they want to prohibit state business with any organization that refers women to an abortion provider. It would have been much more efficient for them to just write, “The State of Michigan shall not do business with Planned Parenthood.”
This is the ACORN Syndrome all over again. In this case, abortion-related activities are only 3% of what Planned Parenthood does. They other 97% are things like Pap tests and breast exams to catch cancer in its early stages. And NO government funds that go to Planned Parenthood are used for abortion-related services. Not good enough for the anti-choice conservative Republicans, though.
HB 4146 specifies that any abortion performed on a fetus “with a probable gestational age of” 19 weeks or older shall be performed in a hospital with a neonatal unit in case the fetus is “born alive”. Just so we’re clear what we’re talking about, at 19 weeks a fetus is about the size of an heirloom tomato. Its chances of living outside of the mother are exactly zero percent and will remain so for at least two to three more weeks. This law is similar to the law passed in Texas in that it will have the biggest impact on women seeking abortions in rural areas where no neonatal unit is nearby. The idea, of course, is to make the process as traumatic as possible. The last thing forced-birthers want is for this to be seen as a routine, safe medical procedure when, in fact, it is.
It’s worth noting that these two bills were introduced by a man and every one of the ten cosponsors except for Cindy Gamrat is a man.
Liberty and freedom are just words to these people and they are just things offered to men, as it turns out.
[CC photo credit: BJ Bumgarner | Flickr]