Lansing Update: July 27, 2012

In This Week’s Lansing Update:

  1. Michigan Moves Closer Toward Licensing & Inspecting Abortion Facilities

Michigan Moves Closer Toward Licensing & Inspecting Abortion Facilities

Abortion facilities that currently operate without a state license would be reclassified as a Freestanding Surgical Outpatient Facility (FSOF) according to legislation that passed the Senate Judiciary Committee this week. 28 of 32 clinics in Michigan are currently classified as private physician offices and do not require a license if abortion represents 50 percent or less of their business. State health officials only inspect those facilities that carry a FSOF license.

House Bill 5711 would better protect the health and safety of Michigan women who choose the devastating path of abortion, Michigan Catholic Conference argued during the committee hearing.

“There’s no reason why businesses that perform major surgical operations should remain unlicensed and uninspected by health officials. It’s time Michigan puts the health and safety of women above financial or ideological interests,” said Catholic Conference Policy Advocate Rebecca Mastee.

The legislation, which passed the Michigan House of Representatives in June, would also prohibit coercing a woman into an abortion and would provide for the humane disposition of aborted children. Last year the bodies of 17 aborted children were found in a common trash dumpster outside an abortion clinic near Lansing. HB 5711 further requires abortion doctors who have been found liable in at least two civil suits to carry a minimum amount of medical malpractice insurance, and bans the growing practice of doctors prescribing abortion pills via web cameras.

Michigan has trailed other states in requiring abortion facilities to be licensed and inspected. Recently, Maryland and Pennsylvania passed such legislation while a hand full of other states have already enacted such a law. Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee throughout the hearing voiced frustration that while junk yards, tattoo parlors and used car lots are licensed by the state, abortion facilities have eluded such requirements.

It is likely the bill will be considered by the full State Senate later this fall.