Move over Arizona and Georgia, Michigan wants to join you in attacking a woman’s right to choose. Michigan Republicans intend to ram a bill through the legislature that would ban all abortions after 20 weeks and would force victims of rape and incest to carry pregnancies to full term because there is no exemption for them.
HB 5711 would even ban women who are raped from getting an abortion after that time, and would force women who are 20 weeks pregnant to give birth whether their lives are at risk or not. It doesn’t matter if the pregnancy is life threatening to the mother or if the fetus has serious defects that make it unlikely to survive, doctors would be banned from making any other decision besides forcing patients to give birth. This bill ties the hands of doctors from making necessary medical decisions that are best for the patient, and bars women from making their own choices about their own bodies.
A House panel advanced the legislation on Thursday and the full House is expected to pass it today and send it straight to the Senate for approval.
Michigan isn’t the only state attacking abortion and contraception rights this year. Kansas, Arizona, Nebraska, Tennessee, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Utah, Texas, Missouri, Wisconsin, and Iowa have all introduced or passed legislation designed to restrict the reproductive rights of women. The 20 week ban is based on the conservative notion that fetuses can feel pain after that time period. The problem with that claim is that science doesn’t agree with it. Multiple studies conducted by real scientists, including one in 2005, generally agree that fetuses can’t feel pain until well into the third trimester after 24 weeks. The 2005 study suggests 28 weeks. Republicans are using false claims to justify passage of these 20 week bans and they know it. They just don’t care because they’ll do whatever it takes to control the reproductive freedom of women.