News Release: Catholic Conference Urges Michigan House to Reject Abortion Mandate for Employers

Lawmakers Continue to Rush Controversial Abortion Bills Unrelated to Proposal 3

A baby boy staring at the viewer.

April 19, 2023

(Lansing, Mich.) — Michigan Catholic Conference is urging the House of Representatives to oppose legislation that would create an abortion mandate on employers in Michigan after the bill passed the House Judiciary Committee this morning. Senate Bill 147, which has already passed the state Senate would, as noted in the Crain’s story linked above, require a range of employers to pay for elective abortions as part of their employee benefit plans if they are also providing benefits related to pregnancy or childbirth.

The following comments may be attributed to Rebecca Mastee, J.D., Michigan Catholic Conference Policy Advocate, who testified against SB 147 in this morning’s committee hearing:

“This bill violates human dignity by attempting to equate elective abortion—which intentionally ends a child’s life—with giving birth to a child. It also violates the deeply held beliefs of employers that provide benefits in accordance with their conscience and beliefs about the dignity of human life.

“Several questions remain about this legislation, including exactly what ‘abortion benefits’ employers would be expected to provide and what adverse litigation employers will be subject to if they do not want to contribute to the death of unborn children. In the Senate, opponents of the bill were provided minimal and dubious responses that mandated abortion coverage was, somehow, part of the Proposal 3 debate. It was not. The majority of Americans do not want to contribute to or pay for other people’s abortions.

As previously stated, pro-abortion lawmakers are using the passage of Proposal 3 as a cover-all to rush through controversial legislation that has nothing to do with the overall legality of abortion. Measures are now being proposed and passed in Michigan, with more likely to come, that broaden the scope around abortion in ways that were not present in the state before the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade.

“We urge members of the House to oppose Senate Bill 147 and to avoid the hurried manner by which the bill was fast-tracked through the Senate. And we urge all members of the legislature to give greater consideration and preference to the dignity of human life, especially the protection and safety of the unborn child, and to support women with resources and assistance needed before, during, and after childbirth.”

Michigan Catholic Conference is the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in this state.

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