In the last few weeks we’ve seen states across the country gut access to abortion, and Michigan took heat from the organized attack by anti-abortion extremists this week. With the passing of House Bills 4320 and 4321 and Senate Bills 229 and 230, the legislation will now go to the Governor’s desk.
Even with a guaranteed veto from Gov. Whitmer, Right to Life has already prepared a citizens’ initiative that would evade the Governor’s signature. If enacted into law, the initiative would outlaw a safe standard of care for second trimester abortions, as well as criminalize doctors who perform them. There’s absolutely no medically necessary reason for this ban — it is purely political.
Republicans who testified for the bill claimed they were “speaking for the unborn,” and saw people who have abortions as “barbaric.” Sen. Tom Barrett even compared the procedure to his deployment in Iraq. But let’s not kid ourselves. If Republicans actually cared about the sanctity of life and the well-being of all those born, abortion would be the last issue on their plate.
To make sure we are crystal clear: These backdoor bans are not about the sanctity of life. These are strategies meant to ban abortion method-by-method, state-by-state until they can get to the Supreme Court and endanger Roe v. Wade.
Abortion restrictions are about oppressing and punishing people who access Constitutionally-protected and necessary healthcare. Abortion restrictions are about forcing a doctor to choose other procedures for their patients that come with higher risk complications. Republicans would rather watch people suffer than allow them autonomy. Just ask Sen. Kim LaSata who stated, “The procedure should be painful! And you should allow god to take over! And you should deliver the baby!” As someone who has made the choice to seek an abortion, Sen. LaSata of all people should have some empathy for others and not block them from exercising the freedom she had in the past.
The bottom line is that a person’s health, not politics, should guide important medical decisions at every point in pregnancy. Ignoring this, Republicans will continue to turn their back on the people who need access to medical care with their inflammatory rhetoric, made-up medical terms, and provocative images. They will continue to tell the people of Michigan that they care for them, and that they care for the weakest and voiceless people.
If Republicans cared, they’d would expand maternal leave and child care.
If Republicans cared, they’d pass legislation to prevent mass shootings in schools.
If Republicans cared, they’d support comprehensive sexual education.
If Republicans cared, they’d support universal healthcare.
If Republicans cared, they’d put an end to cuts to education.
But they don’t. And if they did, they’d leave abortion alone.