The Reproductive Health Act

S.B. 732 – Sen. Mallory McMorrow & H.B. 5542 – Rep. Laurie Pohutsky
S.B. 733 – Sen. Erika Geiss & H.B. 5543 – Rep. Sarah Anthony
S.B. 734 – Sen. Sylvia Santana & H.B. 5544 – Rep. Julie Brixie
S.B. 735 – Sen. Winnie Brinks & H.B. 5545 – Rep. Samantha Steckloff
S.B. 736 – Sen. Stephanie Chang & H.B. 5546 – Rep. Mari Manoogian
S.B. 737 – Sen. Betty Jean Alexander & H.B. 5547 – Rep. Rachel Hood
S.B. 738 – Sen. Rosemary Bayer & H.B. 5548 – Rep. Christine Morse

Current Status

The Senate bills were all introduced on Nov. 30, 2021 and were referred to the Senate Health Policy Committee. The House bills were all introduced on Nov. 10, 2021 and were referred to the House Health Policy Committee. The House bills and the Senate bills are identical to each other.

Description

Collectively, this bill package would create a fundamental right to abortion under Michigan law and would prevent ANY form of perceived infringement of that right by any form of government including schools. The bills create a private right of action against anyone for any form of interference with the right to abortion, contraception, or sterilization with language so broad that it could be interpreted to include paying for abortions and contraception though the bills do not explicitly state that. The bills would REPEAL our old abortion ban, the prohibition on publishing “how-to” guides, the partial-birth abortion ban, the parental consent law, the informed consent law, the coercive abortion prevention act, the abortion insurance opt-out law, the clinic licensing law, the prohibitions against schools referring for abortions, and the law prioritizing family planning dollars away from abortion clinics. In addition, the bills would change the definition of abortion to exclude abortifacients (meaning a drug or device which cause the embryo to not implant would not be considered an abortion), they would repeal any sanctions against doctors’ licensing for any violation of the law and would remove any reference to the repealed laws from our criminal code. Essentially, this package of bills would eliminate nearly every legal protection for the unborn and for women seeking abortions.

Background

Michigan’s prohibition on abortion except to save the life of the mother has been in place since 1846. Other prolife laws including informed consent, parental consent, and clinic licensing were passed after Roe v. Wade blocked enforcement of our complete ban on abortions. Pro-abortion legislators have recently begun introducing legislation to repeal our long-standing law for the past few years as they begin to anticipate Roe’s overturning and the abortion decision being sent back to the states. This is the first year, however, pro-abortion legislation to repeal nearly every prolife legal protection has been introduced. Fortunately, Michigan currently maintains a prolife “firewall” against a repeal of our long-standing ban on abortion.

History

Despite the so-called Constitutional right to abortion, Michigan legislators have been able to pass numerous laws to curtail abortion, protect women, and hold abortionists accountable. The Supreme Court has had a liberal majority continuously from 1973 when Roe was passed until Justice Kavanaugh was seated in 2016. Prior to four years ago, bills to repeal our abortion ban had not been introduced. Several “progressive” states have moved to repeal long-standing abortion bans in their states as some “conservative” states have moved to strengthen legal protections for the unborn indicating preparation for the eventual overturning of Roe.