Nov-2 Update on the RHA

From Genevieve Marnon, RLM Legislative Director

Late last night in the House, 9 of the bills from the “Reproductive Health Act” were passed with a 56-54 vote along party lines with all Democrats voting to approve the bills and all Republicans voting against the bills. Pro-life members offered a series of amendments which were gaveled down.  Several other members provided testimony in opposition to the passage of the bills.  Please make sure to thank your pro-life representatives.  The bills which repeal the ban on Medicaid funded abortions were not voted on, so that law remains on the books, in large part due to the heroic stance of a lone Democrat from Detroit, Karen Whitsett.  In addition, because of her insistence that informed consent remain intact, S.B. 474 was amended to remove the repeal of the informed consent law including the 24-hour waiting period and the screening for coercive abortion, meaning the informed consent law remains on the books for now!  While most of our pro-life laws will be repealed with the passage of this bill package, your calls and emails made a difference.  Abortion supporters are very disappointed that they didn’t get a repeal of the parental consent law, the Medicaid funding ban, and the informed consent law – we’ll take it as a win!

Unfortunately, the laws that are set to be repealed include: Clinic licensing, abortion reporting including complication reporting, humane disposal of fetal remains, the ban on partial birth abortions, the abortion insurance opt-out law (so disappointing after all the work that went into the petition initiative), and the law that prioritizes family planning dollars away from abortion providers. The bills will also codify the language of Proposal 3 into state statue in addition to being in the constitution making it that much harder to repeal in the future.

The bills will now go to the Senate for final approval before being sent to the Governor’s desk.  Action in the Senate is expected next week.