Link here: http://bit.ly/L1ctwZ
To: The Michigan House of Representatives
From: Lee Tilson
Re: HB 5711, HB 5712, HB 5713
Date: June 11, 2012
The Health Policy Committee has not given adequate consideration to
HB 5711, HB 5712 or HB 5713. The House of Representatives should
send those bills back to Committee for full hearings.
Introduced on May 31, 2012, House Bills 5711, 5712, and 5713 were
reported out of Committee seven days later, after one short hearing on
Thursday, June 7, 2012. Now, the bills are scheduled for consideration
by the full House on Tuesday, June 12, 2012, less than two weeks after
Over 50 pages in length, the three bills amend more than a dozen existing
statutes and establish many new rules. They amend many sections of the
public health code and various criminal statutes. Physicians making
decisions regarding the most complicated pregnancies will risk going to
Common sense dictates that when complex legislation is being
considered, hearing all sides allows a better understanding. Fundamental
fairness requires that all who are affected by legislation be given notice
and an opportunity to be heard. The notice given of this hearing was
minimal. Women who opposed the bill had no opportunity to be heard.
Here are the Committee's own minutes. http://1.usa.gov/LgLoUQ
Dozens of women who opposed the bills were in the audience. However,
the Health Policy Committee only allowed three women to speak. It is not
coincidence that the three women speakers supported the bills. Not one
woman who opposed these restrictions on women's rights was allowed
to address the Committee.
The speed with which the bills are being forced through the legislature
does not allow thoughtful consideration. These bills could prevent
physicians from providing appropriate medical care to women after the
first twenty weeks of pregnancy, even though the pregnancy resulted
from rape or incest or if the fetus has a fatal condition that will prevent
its survival after birth. Michigan already regulates pregnancy
terminations so rigidly that the procedure is not available in 83% of the
state's counties.This package makes it harder for physicians to help
women in those counties by phoning prescriptions to their pharmacies.
Michigan citizens deserve better. We deserve to have legislators who
are willing to listen to both sides of a debate. We deserve to have
legislators who take time to read, discuss, debate, think about and
understand the bills on which they are voting. We deserve legislators
who appreciate that the bills they pass will impact the lives of our
citizens for decades.
Enacting laws without thoughtful consideration, and especially without
giving those affected by those laws an opportunity to be heard,
disrespects all the citizens of this state.
The bills should be sent back to Committee for careful consideration.
Detroit, MI 48208
Links to relevant information sources are provided.