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Posted on Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 3:08 p.m.

Broad abortion legislation would increase requirements for doctors, insurance

By Amy Biolchini

Bills that would raise insurance requirements and increase regulations for some doctors performing abortions passed the Michigan House Health Policy Committee Thursday and now move to the House floor.

The proposed legislation is similar to bills that have been recently sponsored at the state level, according to a story.

The bills affect practice licensing, insurance requirements for doctors and use of the RU-486 pill. Proponents of the bills state they would protect women from harmful abortion practices.

Opponents of the measures, including Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan, said they would restrict women’s access to health care services.

Several doctors have testified against the bills, arguing that if passed, the measures would raise issues that could result in restricted access to abortions.

Amy Biolchini covers Washtenaw County, health and environmental issues for Reach her at (734) 623-2552, or on Twitter.



Thu, Jun 14, 2012 : 2:46 a.m.

If either party (ideological gang) were honest, the public would reject both soundly - and permanently. We can see the decline of American civilization: the Republicans and Democrats are the chief agents of this decline. One new law, one new regulation, one new restricted freedom at a time - all in the name of patriotism and religiosity. And the cost for this "service" keeps going up.

Robert Hughes

Sat, Jun 9, 2012 : 2:38 a.m.

An article that outlines why most women choose to have an abortion after the 20 week mark.

Robert Hughes

Sat, Jun 9, 2012 : 2:45 a.m.

Only 100 out of every 1 million abortions are preformed after the 24 week mark, according to FOX news.,2933,880,00.html


Fri, Jun 8, 2012 : 6:53 p.m.

Another attack on woman`s reproductive rights by our "Vatican West" legislature. Very telling that they did not allow Planned Parenthood or the ACLU to testify at the hearing...Repugnican democray in action. They piously say it`s to protect woman.... to prevent women from being coherced or bullied into having an abortion... BULL !! Who`s protecting the womaen being forced to have the child when they`re not ready for a child ?? They can call it what they want... we know it`s just a blatant attack on legal abortion.

Robert Hughes

Sun, Jun 10, 2012 : 3:13 a.m.

In best case scenarios I agree with you and an unwanted baby may be put up for adoption (though this entails its own difficulties). That is already legal, and some people choose to do so. However, I take exception to claiming that the parents are "killing a child" as you suggest. What is killed? This varies from abortion to abortion, based on how long gestation has proceeded. In the case of using the morning after pill RU486 within 24 hours of conception cells amounting to less than would fit on the head of a needle. One might also ask: who are the parents? In many cases of abortion the father is no longer around by the time the child would be born; or shortly thereafter. In some cases the initial intercourse was non-consensual or a case of incest. The law proposed would effect many people under many and varied circumstances. It's important to consider these outliers and not just those who are more mainstream when considering policy or our stance towards it.


Sun, Jun 10, 2012 : 1:57 a.m.

They already have "the child". Once they are born the parents can put them up for adoption instead of killing them.


Fri, Jun 8, 2012 : 12:59 p.m.

Is this the same political party that opposes the new health insurance law because it is too intrusive? How many jobs will this new law create? Do new bureaucrats count as "job creation"? Terrible bill based on little science or need, solely based on ideology.


Fri, Jun 8, 2012 : 10:46 a.m.

The headline of the article is misleading and the article itself is non-informative. If one hadn't read the details of the bills being pushed through one could believe the intent was more benign than it it. This is major government intrusion, not only into the lives of families and the women in these families, but also into the medical practices of physicians. When the government gets itself planted between families and their physicians, we have a huge government presence in our lives. The other aspect of this huge government presence is the intervention of government actions in preventing one to practice their religious beliefs freely. I wonder what the reactions would be if our legislative body was being dominated by Christian Scientiests - no medical interventions allowed for any condition, ever. I believe we live in a country where freedom of religion is still said to exist and abortions/right to chose are still legal. Once we give up these freedoms, for whatever reasons, we will have replicated the living conditions that led to the huge migrations of peoples who settled our country long ago.


Fri, Jun 8, 2012 : 1:25 p.m.

All this nonsence seems to be on the completely false assumption that if we somehow can stop abortions via regulations, laws, etc. they won't happen. Not like there are no real problems to solve.


Fri, Jun 8, 2012 : 10:18 a.m.

Very interesting and lively debate about abortion. Yet, I am more interested in how our government is run. "Bills that would raise insurance requirements and increase regulations for some doctors performing abortions passed the Michigan House Health Policy Committee Thursday and now move to the House floor." This article is not about banning abortion but the regulation of it which is the back door way of banning it. I resent this approach which is cowardly and passive-agressive. In the guise of regulating insurance for provivers, which is supposedly for their own protection, the state is enacting regulations that will discourage doctors from performing abortions. The article could have reported on the bills' histories. Who introduced them, why are they needed? To me it seems that their sole intention is to limit access to a legal procedure. If you can't prohibit something you might as well make it as difficult as possible. I do not run my house this way and I think it is embarrassing to see my government run this way.


Fri, Jun 8, 2012 : 3:35 p.m.

"They realize an outright ban would provoke an uproar, so they're passing smaller bills that make it more difficult and figuring that most people won't even notice." Sorry but the Republican do not have a monopoly on this tactic. As a registered Democrat I can say the exact same things about the Democrats and "rights" issues they hold dear. Tell me how their treatment of the 2nd Amendment is any different?


Fri, Jun 8, 2012 : 12:59 p.m.

This is the way the Republican legislature has been doing a lot of things. They aren't directly banning labor unions or passing 'right to work' legislation, just 1001 smaller laws that make it tough for unions to operate and exist. The same holds for abortion. They realize an outright ban would provoke an uproar, so they're passing smaller bills that make it more difficult and figuring that most people won't even notice.


Fri, Jun 8, 2012 : 4:23 a.m.

Planned Parenthood does more to prevent abortions in a single day than the reactionary right has done in its entire existence (all of recorded history).


Fri, Jun 8, 2012 : 2:04 a.m. "Abortions are very common. In fact, more than 1 out of 3 women in the U.S. have an abortion by the time they are 45 years old." 'nuff said.

Robert Hughes

Sun, Jun 10, 2012 : 2:44 a.m.

Ann, I'm by no means saying that the life of a child with poor parents is less valuable than the life of one with parents who can easily afford all the costs attendant with raising a child today. Their inherent value is the same. I am saying that if you have trouble getting money to feed yourself, to clothe yourself, to house yourself; then that is a good reason, if you want, to seek an abortion. Additionally, I believe that it is a woman's right to choose. If for whatever reason she wants to have a baby and is pregnant she should give birth. If for any reason she doesn't then she ought not to, especially during the first trimester of pregnancy. It's just my opinion.


Sun, Jun 10, 2012 : 2:06 a.m.

Robert, again, there is a difference between an egg and a fertilized egg with a chick growing in it. What I really hear you saying is that the life of a child with poor parents is less valuable than the life of a child who has parents who do not live in poverty. If that is the case, I strongly disagree. I know a baby that is currently "unwanted" yet has at least 3 separate parties that would love to be given the privilege of raising her.

Robert Hughes

Sat, Jun 9, 2012 : 12:48 a.m.

Rare is a relative term. People who have abortions come from all different social economic levels. This is one major indicator for abortion; who wants to raise a child in poverty? Calling on the resources of the whole family to help? Did you know that 33% of all black families are at zero net worth or below? Did you know that 13% of white families fall into the same category? Again, I take exception to your calling it a pre-born child. By that logic we all ought to refer to one another as pre-corpse; or pre-dead or something along those lines. It is disingenuous to call a egg a chicken; and it is also misleading to call a fetus a pre-born child. It might get aborted by natural means, or be still born at birth.


Fri, Jun 8, 2012 : 6:23 p.m.

According to another poster, "Abortions should be safe, rare, and legal. " Well so much for "rare"! Nobody is trying to make abortions illegal, they are just trying to have a few restrictions to make it a less common practice. Having an abortion ends the life of a pre-born child, it's not like removing a gall stone, and it should be taken more seriously for that reason.


Fri, Jun 8, 2012 : 6 p.m.

Why is that any of your business?


Fri, Jun 8, 2012 : 3:01 a.m.

@mtlaurel - a lot of these anti-choice people are also fervently opposed to comprehensive sex education, which would prevent many unwanted pregnancies (and STDs, for that matter). People on both sides of the issue agree that fewer abortions performed is a goal - and the only way to reduce that number is through education. Unfortunately, most anti-choicers think the solution is to preach abstinence, despite the hoards of research showing that abstinence-only education does not work. How many teens get more curious when they are told to *not* do something and are not given any further information? 'My folks say I shouldn't do this, so it must be fun.' I remember those days!


Fri, Jun 8, 2012 : 2:17 a.m.

You said nothing-What is your solution? you propose only to make access for women more difficult? That doesn't make sense-since none of this is making sense,the ridiculous legislation will fail. Maybe next time you can think about what would help women in their complex lives instead of just being punitive and reciting numbers that you don't like. solution.


Fri, Jun 8, 2012 : 2 a.m.

the Repubs inLansing are not doing their jobs-they are supposed to help Mich-they have thrown down some ridiculous stem cell rules and now this to pander to the right wing crowd,and set up the Emergency Manager nonsense like it was some great solution-in what way are these solutions-they are creating more hassles and confusion. I read the Mich lawmakers are the least educated of any shows....they cannot make goals for progress. Why should any citizen accept this buffoonery? It is a complete phony charade that is going on in Lansing: the people of Mich have been through enough-sitting here while these people push out this kind of stuff from Lansing and get PAID by the taxpayers.Mich looks so utterly ridiculous and lost, and education is continually being degraded,the future might even be worse.

Susie Q

Fri, Jun 8, 2012 : 1:48 a.m.

No one ADVOCATES for abortion; many people believe it should be available to those who decide they cannot carry a pregnancy to term and want to end a pregnancy. I get why some folks are uncomfortable with abortion and believe it is a sin. For those folks.....don't have an abortion and work hard to make sure that contraception and sex education are available to limit the number of abortions. But don't force your choice not to end a pregnancy on me or my daughters. I find it ironic that many of the folks who are against a woman's right to choose to end a pregnancy are also against contraception and sex education........I guess they are just against sex, period.

Robert Hughes

Sun, Jun 10, 2012 : 2:38 p.m.

Ann, thank you. Your comments are also appreciated. I see that we hold a difference of opinion about abortion. I value the work that you are doing when you share the support of the two foster nieces that you know; as well as the other 3 babies that you know personally. This is definitely great work. Thank you.


Sun, Jun 10, 2012 : 4:22 a.m.

Robert, I really appreciate how respectfull your responses are. I think my biggest objections have to do with babies like Avery , and my two foster nieces who were born early, underweight and uncared for but are now very much loved and wanted. As well as 3 other beautiful former "foster babies" I know who couldn't be in a better more loving home. Some were born well before full gestation, some were born addicted and some to parents in poverty but all have bright futures and all have great value.

Robert Hughes

Sun, Jun 10, 2012 : 2:37 a.m.

Ann, I'd say that there is a big difference between getting an abortion before the third trimester, before the fetus can feel pain; and during the third trimester - when it can feel pain. My original quibble has to do with Justcurious calling a fetus a child. I think it is rather like calling an egg a chicken. However, I also wanted to underline that sometimes what is in the womb will be still born, and so cannot qualify as a child. A child is someone who plays checkers, or wears diapers; or whatever. It isn't fair to make the comparison to a fetus; or in more drastic cases what is fated only to be still born. Now as for your big difference between eggs; I'm not so sure. When I lived on a farm, we used to get eggs that had a little red blood in them - that I believe, I was told at the time, is a sign that they were fertilized - and we would fry them up and eat them just fine. I never have seen this tell tale red bit from eggs bought at Krogers, or other chain stores. So of course, had the egg had a little more time for gestation, there would be a chick in the ones I got on the farm. But we got them too early. Anyway, as for my rationale, I hope the first paragraph of this response has made that clear.


Sun, Jun 10, 2012 : 1:19 a.m.

Robert, there is a very big difference between cracking open an unfertilized egg and frying it up and cracking open a fertilized egg with a chick growing in it. It's basic science. Plus, I don't get your rationale. We eat unfertilized eggs and chickens. Chickens are not treated well in many cases. I have never seen anyone eat a chick whether hatched or unhatched. If a baby or fetus doesn't have a brain, the organ that regulates heartbeat, etc. etc. probably qualifies as something like "brain dead" and as you yourself stated, that is a very rare case.

Robert Hughes

Sat, Jun 9, 2012 : 2:42 a.m.

Further, Just curios, what about in the (very rare & extreme) cases where the fetus does not have a brain, nor will ever develop one?

Robert Hughes

Fri, Jun 8, 2012 : 12:58 p.m.

"just curious" It is not a child. It is a fetus. Nor is a fetus a "human being". We call it a chicken when a chicken is full grown. When it is an egg, we call it an egg. We treat them differently; and the same rational holds true for people and fetuses. I agree with SQ above, if it makes the mother uncomfortable to have an abortion, then don't have an abortion.


Fri, Jun 8, 2012 : 2:06 a.m.

I, and other compassionate human beings, will never support a woman's right to murder her own child.


Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 11:01 p.m.

And opposition forces always decry NRA and Choice advocates constant doomsday calls regarding these rights. Here's why, because it is NECESSARY! Otherwise our rights get nibble at until they are no more.

Robert Hughes

Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 10:54 p.m.

Here's an interesting article outlining some other aspects of this legislation; as well as some of the ground already covered here.


Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 8:36 p.m.

don't worry folks, the Republicans in the House will make this yet another "immediate effect" bill and not allow the opposition the opportunity to vote their dissent.


Fri, Jun 8, 2012 : 5:58 p.m.

Sad day for women if this guy really was a health care administrator. OB/Gyn? With your views it would be impossible to do what is best for womens' health care. You're probably one of those people who would make a woman carry a dead fetus to term, or refuse to do an abortion even to save a woman's life. I do notice the word "WAS" though.

Michigan Man

Fri, Jun 8, 2012 : 4:11 p.m.

Robert - You are a genius! Yes, I am someone! Yes, Michigan Man is my cool name here on No, it is none your fracking business who I am!

Ed Kimball

Fri, Jun 8, 2012 : 1:09 p.m.

@Michigan Man -- if you are in health care that is very bad news indeed!

Robert Hughes

Fri, Jun 8, 2012 : 12:54 p.m.

Michigan Man you could be anyone . . . one things for sure, you haven't posted with your real name . . . or even a convincing pseudonym. Perhaps you can provide some documentation on your identity?

Michigan Man

Fri, Jun 8, 2012 : 2:31 a.m.

SQ - Bad news! I am in healthcare - close to 40 years now in leadership positions. Sorry you are stuck with me. Actually, was Administrator of a large, prestigious academic medical center department of Ob/Gyne. I do not follow directions very well - I will not stay out of women's healthcare!

Susie Q

Fri, Jun 8, 2012 : 1:37 a.m.

@MichiganMan You are not a Michigan Man. We do not need government telling us how to handle our lives. Mind your own business and stay out of women's health care.

Michigan Man

Fri, Jun 8, 2012 : 12:38 a.m.

Forever27 - Hope you are correct!


Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 8:25 p.m.

Guess this is more of that 'small government' conservativism in action?


Fri, Jun 8, 2012 : 2:51 p.m.

I know right? The repubs hypocrisy is downright laughable..


Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 8:13 p.m.

love the name 'Planned Parenthood'...they advocate abortion rights for all those involved in Unplanned Parenthood...would be interesting if the changed their name to Accountable for my actions...or Irresponsible.

Robert Hughes

Fri, Jun 8, 2012 : 12:52 p.m.

Actually "just curious" 54% of abortions happen with women who are actively using contraceptives. If anything, we need stronger contraceptives, and better access to RU486. Source:


Fri, Jun 8, 2012 : 2 a.m.

Unfortunately Robert Hughes, most abortions are not the result of contraception that has failed, they are due to people who have failed to use contraception. Many women look at the result of having sex as merely an inconvenience, something to get rid of. Planned Parenthood has championed that view for decades.

Urban Sombrero

Fri, Jun 8, 2012 : 12:03 a.m.

Planned Parenthood does so much more than abortions. In fact, abortions only count for a small percent of what they do total. For women like me (with a job that doesn't provide health insurance and without enough money to buy a plan on my own), they are a godsend. I can get my yearly exams there, for a nominal fee. I don't have to go without medical care, just because I'm not insured. I've never had an abortion. In fact, I have three children of my own. But I am a user of, and avid supporter of Planned Parenthood. I don't know what I'd do without them.


Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 10:32 p.m.

Robert Hughes Thank you for your perseverance here in the comment section.

Robert Hughes

Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 10:21 p.m.

Justcurious, while the out of wedlock pregnancy rate has soared, so too has the out of wedlock birth rate. Since abortion is an option that many woman embrace, if contraception fails, they are able to choose what to do next. Many choose single parenthood, and many don't; there are also still some shotgun weddings, and some men are willing and responsible enough to help raise a child. And again, some aren't. Characterizing a group that gives out free condoms as "planned abortion after sex" is misleading. While they champion abortions, they are stronger on contraceptives.

Robert Hughes

Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 10:07 p.m.

djm12652 - planned parenthood has free condoms and sex information; as well as counseling services for the people that choose to use there services. Are you saying that using contraceptives, like condoms, is irresponsible? Why is that? and if the condom doesn't work, then why would using RU486 be irresponsible? These are good steps towards having a fulfilling sexually active relationship without the consequence of having a child you might not be able to afford or care for properly. That seems like appropriate action to me. Much better that not having a sexually fulfilling relationship and no kids, or a SFR and kids, but no money or care to raise them with.


Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 9:24 p.m.

djm12652, you're right. Ever since "Planned" Parenthood starting operating the out of wedlock pregnancy rate has skyrocketed. Just a coincidence? More like Planned Abortion after Sex.


Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 8:52 p.m.

so typical of the patent lies about P.P. that are like mothers milk to it's opponants . up is down, black is white , limitless breeding is responsible, and busybody-ism about other peoples lives is compassion. i hope you guys get creamed in the next election.


Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 8:34 p.m.

they do a heck of a lot more than "advocate abortion rights for all those involved in unplanned parenthood" but that doesn't matter because you've got yourself a nice little cliche there.


Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 7:42 p.m.

Is there evidence that abortion procedures have a higher cost or rate of complication than other surgical procedures? I would like to see the evidence that shows that increased insurance requirements are needed. Without that, this sounds like a blatant attempt to curtail this procedure. Abortions should be safe, rare, and legal. What is the evidentiary basis for this legislation regarding insurance?

Robert Hughes

Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 11:31 p.m.

Michigan reader, your examples have failed to illustrate your points.

Michigan Reader

Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 11:04 p.m.

@Robert Hughes--If you don't want slaves, don't have them. Live and let live! If I want to kill any elementary aged children I might have with my partner, I should be able to do that, I might be better off! I don't mean any of this, so don't get alarmed. I'm just trying to illustrate some points.

Robert Hughes

Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 10:42 p.m.

Further, Michigan reader, I wonder why you have turned your examination of morals, and how to live life, over to a creator; one that you will never see in this life (or if you do will be considered crazy by most people). Perhaps if you could talk directly to the creator "God" would tell you that abortions are acceptable? But you can't, so you'll have to take it on faith from the Vatican; from in point of fact, the minds of other people. Perhaps "God" approves of abortions. Perhaps God approves of the war in Iran - Bush said that's why we went to war there. Perhaps God is speaking through me now (Robert 6:11). It sidesteps the issue when you place it at God's doorstep, this sense that abortion is wrong; but then have people at the Vatican being the only ones that ultimately are communicating what God says. They are people at the Vatican, nothing more, nothing less. God, on the other hand, is all around us and all forgiving, don't you think?

Robert Hughes

Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 10:35 p.m.

Further, you invoke the name of the Catholic Church and the creator. I'm not catholic, however, I understand that somewhere around 52% of Catholics now favor birth control, and that 98% of all women have used some form of birth control in their lives.

Robert Hughes

Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 10:30 p.m.

Michigan reader; if those cells don't mature into a baby, I don't think they count as a human being. Obviously it's not a mouse in the end. But if the cells miss the womb and implant on the ovarian tubes, as an example, then the pregnancy will naturally abort; without a human being coming out. I take exception to you defining what the moral high ground is. If a woman and a man are living in poverty, value their time for pursuits other than raising children; and are taking measures to keep from having children - using contraceptives - and that fails; I believe it is their choice, and eventually the woman's choice whether or not to have an abortion. I think that choice is better for the couple, in their estimation, then raising a baby would be given their circumstances. You might say they would be better with the baby, but there is no way of knowing the future. Why would you want, or care, about what someone else does? If you don't want an abortion, don't have one.

Robert Hughes

Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 10:23 p.m.

Oops, got a bit tongue tied, indeed, I meant contraceptive.

Michigan Reader

Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 10:06 p.m.

@Robert Hughes--Condoms then are anti-contraceptives because they prevent sperm cells from reaching eggs? Condoms are contraceptives. And, the Catholic Church's teaching is that sex is for unity and procreation. Anything that deviates from that is considered gravely wrong. I wish it weren't so, but I'm not the creator.

Robert Hughes

Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 9:58 p.m.

Additionally, as my partner just pointed out to me, RU486 is an anti-contraceptive pill, that is, is stops the egg/sperm from reaching the point of contraception. A quick visit to wikipedia shows the veracity of this statement, when RU486 is used in small doses immediately, within 24 hours, of intercourse. In this form it is not a form of abortion, but rather, one of anti-contraception.

Michigan Reader

Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 9:56 p.m.

@Robert Hughes--I think it's undisputed that a sperm cell and an egg are the earliest stage of human life. It's no other species, it's not a goat, or a giraffe. As for the "moral right" part, the death penalty isn't for the innocent, and there's a "just war" doctrine of the Catholic Church. Regardless, bad examples that exist even in the Catholic Church, for example the priest sex abuse cases, don't make other immoral choices right.

Robert Hughes

Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 9:29 p.m.

Your definition of "human being" lacks substance. Two cells, or four, or eight; or even hundreds and hundreds of them are by no stretch of the imagination a "human being". The beating heart is heard at about 8 weeks; still the fetus would not survive outside the womb at that time. I think it would be a stretch even at 8 weeks to call it a "human being" as it is utterly dependent on the mother at that time. As for the "moral right" part of things; our society sets a very bad example in this matter, with both the death penalty and wars overseas; as well as historical genocide - which some would argue is still rampant - being salient. We kill innocent people indirectly with all sorts of decisions that we make on a daily basis; and continue to support what is tantamount to modern day slavery with those decisions. This is true in regards to cheap goods that come from questionable factories (as per the ipad Chinese factory incident highlighted by the news lately) to the use of oil in our everyday lives. Abortion does not kill an innocent human being, it kills a fetus; and in many cases gives the mother and her family the opportunity to be productive members of society to a greater extent than they would be other wise.

Michigan Reader

Thu, Jun 7, 2012 : 9:15 p.m.

Why, if abortions are a good thing, should they be rare? No one has the MORAL right to kill an innocent human being. Slavery was legal at one time, that didn't make it right.