HB 5711 Passes – Abortion Access Takes Infuriating Backward Slide

Remember last summer, when two women dared use the word “vagina” while talking about female reproductive rights on the floor of the Michigan House of Representatives? Well, you probably don’t remember the bill they were objecting. It was sort of overshadowed by a bunch of grown men being icked-out by any mention of lady parts. The bill was HB 5711, also known as the anti-choice “super bill.” If you care about women’s reproductive rights at all, you should be pissed and terrified.

There are so many restrictions in this 45-page bill, it’s hard to pick out the most ridiculous and offensive. First of all, it contains protocol for screening women for “coercion” before they undergo the procedure. This is code for “asking women questions that are no one’s effing business as a means of trying to guilt them out of their decision.” It will also ban the use of telemedicine abortion – a procedure that allows physicians to remotely supervise administration of the pregnancy-ending drug RU-486. This procedure has proven crucial in rural areas where access to doctors and clinics is limited.

Then there are the host of new physical requirements that clinics will have to adhere to in order to be permitted to perform the procedure. Minimum doorway sizes and minimum square footage requirements could shut down almost every clinic in the state. Jezebel reports, “21 out of Michigan’s 83 counties already lack a single OB/GYN, so this bill will make it that more difficult for the state’s women to gain access to healthcare. This could get real bad, real fast.”

Bundling so many restrictions into one bill is virtually unprecedented. RH Reality Check reports, “HB 5711 is the first bill in the state to roll so many abortion restrictions into one package, threatening to create in one fell swoop serious barriers for both women in need of abortion care and abortion providers.” Packaged with the bill is another piece of legislations, HB5713, which outlines sentencing guidelines for violations of new regulations, and prohibits all abortions after 20 weeks. Since only 1% of abortions that occur in this country are “late term,” is there a necessity to even include this restriction in the new legislation? Sure, if you want to perpetuate the myth that women are flippantly scheduling their late-term abortions between their mani-pedi’s and happy hour.

The fact is 90% of abortions happen in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. The right to this medical procedure is something we won almost 40 years ago. Were we really more progressive and pro-woman in 1973? With all of this new legislation chipping away at women’s reproductive rights – rights that have been ours for four decades – all signs point to “yes.”

(photo: Thinglass/ Shutterstock.com)

You can reach this post's author, Maria Guido, on twitter.
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    • Maggie

      I’m having trouble deciding which part of this bill is the worst, but I think the worst part may be that the idiotic, paleolithic-era politicians who passed the bill think that they’ve done something good. I just want to shake them and scream “Why do you hate women?!”

    • jsterling93

      The entire thing is alarming but reading that 21 counties don’t even have Ob/Gyns in the first place took the cake. That is 25% of the state. I think instead of looking at trying to prevent women from doing something they already have a legal right to do the state needs to look at what they can do to make sure women are actually able to get care. what if they WANT to have the baby? They can’t even be sure of getting good prenatal care.

    • Amanda @HealthyHerLiving.com

      I think this is quite possibly one of the most disturbing pieces of news I’ve stumbled acrossed today.

    • a9fc8yt3kd1

      Testing, testing … 1, 2, 3 …

    • a9fc8yt3kd1

      #1:

      Um … Are you aware that the majority of girls who get abortions DON’T actually want to do it? Some girls do it of their own free will, but more often they get bullied into it by their parents, by their boyfriends,

    • a9fc8yt3kd1

      #2:

      or by the parents of their boyfriends. You don’t have to take my word for it.

    • a9fc8yt3kd1

      #3:

      Just do a search for

    • a9fc8yt3kd1

      #4:

      “My Abortion” on

    • a9fc8yt3kd1

      #5:

      v-i-d-e-o-.-g-o-o-g-l-e-.-c-o-m-,

    • a9fc8yt3kd1

      #6:

      and watch some of the videos which come up.

    • a9fc8yt3kd1

      #7:

      EVEN IF YOU EXCLUDE ALL OF THE VIDEOS OF WOMEN WHO WERE RECRUITED BY PRO-LIFE GROUPS AND RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS TO APPEAR IN VIDEOS, still roughly 60% of the videos are of girls blathering hysterically about how they were cruelly forced into getting an abortion against their will, and how it has deeply traumatized them for life. Only the remaining 40% of videos are of girls who actually wanted the abortion and were later thankful for it.

      • waffre

        You know, I would be a lot more inclined to respect the opinion of someone who doesn’t take eight posts to express a single thought, but I guess it’s up to you if you want to look like a crazy person.

      • a9fc8yt3kd1

        I originally posted this as just one post, but it was removed and blocked from being re-posted. When I re-posted it, I had to break it up into numerous smaller sections in order to prevent it from being detected and blocked by the website’s bot.

    • cw19

      In need of abortion? unless its inyour tubes, there’s no “need” for it. there’s other procedures if your blood pressure is high and such things. get over yourself. I AM A WOMAN AND YOU ALL SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF, CALLING YOURSELF A WOMAN. Who are you to draw the line of life? And these politicians are politictians but at least they know they have no such right. I wish someone would have tried to save my baby. My poor little baby was torn from me because they thought they knew the line of life and were heartless bitches like you!!!