Proposed legislation steps between women and their doctors

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Proposed legislation steps between women and their doctors


On August 19, 2015 Representative Laura Cox (R-Livonia) introduced two bills to the Michigan House of Representatives that would endanger women’s access to abortion – and no one seems to be talking about it.

HB 4833 and HB 4834 would criminalize one of the safest methods of abortion for many women seeking care in Michigan. The bill only includes a narrow exception if a woman’s life is in danger, but does not include exceptions for the woman’s health, future fertility, rape or incest.

This legislation is an unprecedented intrusion into a woman’s relationship with her doctor. Physicians could face criminal charges for providing the most safe, effective and medically proven care. This bill inserts politicians squarely between doctors and their patients, forcing physicians to abandon their own principles of ethics and good practice, or face severe criminal penalties.

 

DEVELOPING A PATTERN

HB 4833 and HB 4834 are not unique; they are similar to legislation that has been introduced in six states this year. In Kansas and Oklahoma the bills passed. Kansas’s law was challenged by the Center for Reproductive Rights as banning the most common method for ending pregnancy would force women to undergo additional and unnecessary medical procedures, often ones against the medical judgment of her physician.  A federal judge had blocked the law from going into effect while the lawsuit is pending on the grounds that it is likely unconstitutional.

If these bills pass in Michigan, it could lead to the same costly litigation for our state. This legislature should be spending their time devising a plan to fund our roads rather than passing another abortion restriction that will result in the state having to spend its own funds to defend the law in court.

 

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR ME?

Even if we disagree about abortion, we can all agree that it is best when our health care professionals are able to provide the safest and most reliable medical care without fear of criminal penalties. These bills prevent that.

The proposed legislation does nothing to support women’s health. To the contrary, doctors would be forced to perform a procedure in the manner dictated by politicians, even if they think it is inappropriate for their patient.  In NO other field of medicine would this be acceptable.

It’s time to stop criminalizing women’s health care and the doctors who provide it.

 

HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED

The chair of the House Criminal Justice Committee has announced his intention to bring these politically motivated bills before his committee by the end of this month.

Please help us send a message to Lansing legislators that they are not elected or qualified to make medical decisions – medical care should only be between a woman and her doctor. Tell your legislator to vote against HB 4833 and 4834.

Find your representative.

Find your senator.

If you don’t know what to say or who to call, use our Method Ban Action Alert as a guide. It includes talking points and contacts.

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