Michigan House Sneakily Passed the Country's Most Extreme Anti-Abortion Bill Early This Morning

Illustration for article titled Michigan House Sneakily Passed the Countrys Most Extreme Anti-Abortion Bill Early This Morning

While you were sleeping (shortly before 2 A.M. in the morning!), the lame-duck legislators in Michigan's House of Representatives passed HB 5711 by a 72-35 vote. HB 5711 is also known as:

1) The bill that prompted House legislators to ban Reps. Lisa Brown and Barb Byrum from speaking after they referred to She Who Must Not Be Named. (The vagina. They said the word "vagina" while talking about women's health.)

2) One of the country's most wide-reaching and restrictive anti-abortion bills. As we reported earlier this week, the bill would impose completely unnecessary and unreasonable requirements on health care centers (they could force the state's abortion providers to shut down if they didn't have, for example, wide enough doorways) and prevent doctors from helping women in low-income areas with telemedicine.

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And for good measure, they also passed SB 612, 613 and 614, which would ban all private insurance coverage of abortion. (More on those here.)

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The bills are now ready for Governor Rick Snyder's signature. Will he sign them? The Detroit Free Press thinks so.

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According to her Facebook, Brown told the House early this morning that she was "no longer flattered that you are interested in my vagina. I am offended and disgusted. ... Move on and move the state forward." Here's a video of her expanding on that point/being absolutely awesome just a few hours ago:

She got away with it this time, but ladies of Michigan: be careful not to use the words "vagina" (or vaj, vajajay, and all iterations thereof) while discussing this bullshit in public.

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DISCUSSION

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Back when this first started, I floated the idea of a network to get women in states like Michigan to states where abortion access isn't so restricted. Nothing too terribly formal - more like, hey, I'm in California and I have a couch, we know of this organization that will help you with costs, and you can use my friend's frequent flier miles. There was a lot of enthusiasm, but it petered out - which is understandable, especially in an election year.

So. Election over. Restrictions still happening. Who wants to do this? I'm in California and have no frequent flier miles, so I don't know how much help I could be to Michigan women, but what about those of you who are closer? Illinois? New York? Ontario? Who's got a couch?