Coathanger lobby update: Michigan.

Michigan’s H.B. 5711 (and it’s companion H.B. 5713) has been called an abortion “super bill,” as it incorporates nearly every single trick in the anti-choice book that we have generally seen pass piecemeal in other states.  It requires screening interrogating women for signs of “coercion” prior to an abortion (Dear Lard, the irony…); TRAP laws including new liability insurance requirements; onerous regulations on clinics as surgical facilities; bizarre restrictions on the disposal of fetal remains that will require a woman to sign a form indicating her preference as to whether the extracted fetal tissue be “cremated, buried or interred”; the mandatory physical presence of a physician for a medication abortion — an extremely problematic restriction especially in rural areas of Michigan, a state where 82 percent of counties have no abortion provider; providing a tax credit for fetuses (but not actual children); and allowing medical providers to deny any health care service they deem personally objectionable.

The bill’s evil twin, H.B. 5713, provides sentencing guidelines for violations of the new laws, and also bans all abortions after 20 weeks, except when it is necessary to “save a life.”  Of course, many horrific fetal defects cannot be determined until after 20 weeks gestation, so the purpose of this particular law is to ensure the maximum amount of human suffering is inflicted on women, their families, and their doomed fetuses.

The super bill passed overwhelmingly in both houses of the Michigan legislature, and Republican governor Rick Snyder has less than two weeks to decide whether to sign it into law.  I wonder what he will do?  OMFG the suspense is killing me!

In the course of our world-renowned studies in the field of Conservative Personality Disorder, we have often noted that anti-choice zealots are ignorant, unprincipled liars.  One Michigan legislator has been kind enough to demonstrate this for us quite nicely.  Activist Emily Kellogg Magner visited with Michigan Senator Howard Walker, who had already voted for the bill but had not yet bothered to read it.  During their 20 minute meeting, he was “dismissive, misinformed, and rude.”  At the end, he cut her off by interjecting, “This isn’t about protecting women, it’s about protecting fetuses!”

Now this statement is offensive enough with respect to the Senator’s view of whether women are deemed worthy of protection (except possibly insofar as they dutifully perform their government-designated roles as non-consenting incubators).  But as U.S. legislative culture is presently an unrelenting shitstorm of violent misogyny, this all-too-common sentiment barely even merits a yawn.  On the other hand, we do feel it is necessary to reiterate at every opportunity that contrary to Howie’s little outburst, bills like H.B. 5711 are manifestly not about protecting fetuses.  If they were, all of these @$$holes would be clamoring to do something about the inconceivably massive number of spontaneous abortions that occur every day:

The NIH reports, “It is estimated that up to half of all fertilized eggs die and are lost (aborted) spontaneously, usually before the woman knows she is pregnant. Among those women who know they are pregnant, the miscarriage rate is about 15–20%.” [citations at the link.]


Answer:  No one.  Not one person.  And that includes the ignorant, unprincipled liar, Senator Howard Walker.


Michigan State Senator Howard Wagner, ignorant, unprincipled liar. (Photo: World News Inc.)

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