Rick Snyder came into office promising to be a new kind of Republican governor, focused on budget and economic issues and not on social hot button issues like abortion and gay rights. Despite those promises, he has now signed into law one of the country’s worst laws on abortion, passed by the Republican-dominated state legislature.
The law has many provisions, all of which are designed to make it more difficult to provide abortion services in the state. First, it requires that any facility that performs more than 10 abortions a month be a freestanding building with full surgical facilities — even if they don’t perform surgical abortions at all. Second, it requires doctors to certify that the woman was not coerced into getting the abortion (a laudable goal, but a solution in search of a problem). Third, it requires that a doctor actually be present even if the woman is choosing an RU-486 abortion, which will make it far less likely that rural clinics can stay open. Here’s the real purpose:
Critics of the Michigan law fear its insistence on new, standalone facilities will hurt women in rural and low-income areas as it could force some clinics to close. They say questioning women on whether an abortion is voluntary subjects them to a type of interrogation.
The Center for Reproductive Rights, an abortion rights group that opposed the measure, said it could force many existing abortion providers in the state to either tear down their offices and rebuild from the ground up — or shutter their practices.
The Michigan chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, which also opposed the law, called its passage a setback for reproductive rights and the health of women.
“Safety was never the intention of this law. The only thing this law accomplishes is to make a difficult decision even more difficult,” said Rana Elmir, the communications director for the Michigan ACLU.
This is the religious right doing everything it can to make it more difficult for women to exercise their reproductive rights and make it prohibitively costly to keep clinics open, clinics that also provide a great deal of important primary medical care for women, especially in rural and inner city areas.