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Michigan Imposes New Abortion Restrictions

On December 28, 2012, Michigan Governor, Rick Snyder (R) signed an anti-abortion bill, H.B. 5711, imposing new restrictions on clinics and physicians. Gov. Snyder also vetoed a second anti-abortion bill that would have prohibited insurance plans in Michigan from including abortion in its standard health coverage. [1] Both bills had passed the Republican-majority state legislature during their lame-duck session.[2]

H.B. 5711 regulates abortion clinics as surgical centers by imposing strict physical building requirements related to such things as doorway sizes and minimum square footage. These restrictions could effectively shut down a number of existing clinics in the state whose facilities don’t meet the new requirements. The new law also requires doctors to screen women for coercion before providing abortions and bans telemedicine abortions, which are crucial for women who live in rural, under-served areas.[3]

The vetoed legislation would have eliminated abortion coverage for women, allowing for no exceptions for cases of rape, incest or the health of the mother. “It just went too far,” said Gov. Snyder after vetoing the bill. [4]

[1]Laura Bassett, “Michigan Abortion Law Signed By Gov. Rick Snyder,” Huffington Post, 29 December 2012, accessed 3 January 2013, <>.

[2]Laura Bassett, “Michigan Abortion Legislation Package Moves Forward”, Huffington Post, 6 December 2012, accessed 12 December 2012, <>