12.1.15 – Anti-choice legislation

In 2015, Michigan lawmakers proposed 23 bills related to abortion, 17 of which were anti-choice. Male legislators sponsered 72% of the proposed bills.  Here’s an overview of current pending state legislation:

Heartbeat Awareness Act
H.B. 4241Rep. Tom Hooker
Description: Before an abortion can be performed, the doctor must attempt to detect a fetal heartbeat and allow the woman to hear the heartbeat if she chooses.  In addition, the bill requires the doctor to inform the woman of the likelihood of experiencing a spontaneous miscarriage based on the lack of fetal heartbeat and gestational age.

Choose Life License Plate

S.B. 84Sen. Patrick ColbeckH.B. 4140Rep. Tom Hooker
Description: S.B. 84 and H.B. 4140 create the Choose Life Michigan fund within the Michigan Treasury where funds from the sale of specialty “Choose Life” license plates will be deposited. Funds generated by the sale of “Choose Life” plates in Michigan will be directed to the Choose Life Michigan fund. The board of the nonprofit prolife committee, Choose Life Michigan, will then disperse the money to organizations that submit grant proposals for specific abortion prevention projects. The bill stipulates that the funds will be used to promote alternatives to abortion, including adoption, provide practical support to pregnant women, and conduct outreach to at-risk populations regarding positive pregnancy options.Citizens Accountability Act
S.B. 27 Sen. Rick Jones
Description: The Citizen Accountability Act would allow any individual who has knowledge of a woman being treated for an abortion complication to file a “Notice of Compliance” regarding Public Act 208. This notice would be filed simultaneously with the physician or facility treating the complication, the abortionist if he or she did not treat the complication, and the state Department of Community Health.

Abortion Provider Funding Ban aka Defund Planned Parenthood
H.B. 4145Rep. Tom Hooker
Description: H.B. 4145 adds section 2 to the Family Planning Act the public health code.  It states that state departments shall not distribute money to organizations that perform or refer for elective abortions.

Coercive Abortion Prevention Act
H.B. 4787 – Rep. Amanda Price & H.B. 4830Rep. Nancy Jenkins
Description: H.B. 4787 adds to Michigan’s current anti-extortion/coercion provisions by including coercion to abort as a specific crime. It will be illegal to coerce a woman to abort by threatening or actually committing the following actions: physical assault, withdrawing financial support, or terminating or otherwise violating a legal contract, destroying or concealing a passport or other identification, and threats to deport or arrest.

Dismemberment Abortion Ban
H.B. 4833 & H.B. 4834Rep. Laura Cox
Description: Modify partial-birth abortion legislation to criminalize dilation and evacuation abortions. A common medical procedure used after miscarriages and during second-trimester abortions.

Abortion Counseling Conflict of Interest
H.B. 4831Rep. Mike Callton
Description: Prohibits anyone who benefits financially from tissue procurement of aborted babies from counseling women who are seeking an abortion.

No Abortion Providers in Public Schools
H.B. 4883Rep. Tom Hooker
Description: H.B. 4883 amends the Revised School Code.  It states that entities that provide or refer for abortions will not be allowed to teach sexual education in public schools.

Pain Capable Child Protection Act     
H.B. 4851 and 4852 – Rep. Cindy Gamrat, Rep. Aaron Miller, Rep. Ed McBroom, Rep. Jim Runestad, Rep. Ken Goike
Description: HB 4851 would prohibit abortions after 20 weeks, unless it is to save the life of the mother. Under this law, a physician would be required to first determine the probable post-fertilization age of the fetus. If it is determined that the fetus is has a probable post-fertilization age of 20 or more weeks, any attempt to perform an abortion would be prohibited. Any person that violates this law would be guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment up to 15 years and/or a fine of up to $7,500.

Clinic Licensing Enforcement Act
H.B. 573 – Sen. Judy Emmons
Description: S.B. 573 would require the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to license abortion clinics as freestanding outpatient surgical facilities.

Prenatally Diagnosed Conditions Act 
S.B. 287Sen. Jim Marleau & H.B. 5065 Rep. Jason Sheppard
Description: The Prenatally Diagnosed Conditions Act is a two part bill that will address both fatal prenatal conditions as well as other contidions that are diagnosed prenatally   This act creates a database of medically accurate information about the prenatally diagnosed conditions, links to support groups, and provides information about intervention services. The physician will refer a woman to who has been given a prenatal diagnosis to a website where she can receive medically accurate and up to date information. In the event that the diagnosis is fatal (one in which is would not be surprising if the baby died within one year), the doctor will refer the mother to a perinatal hospice program.


29 thoughts on “12.1.15 – Anti-choice legislation

  1. These heinous bills are nothing but attempts to shame women who do not have the money or desire to have a child. The authors of such terrifying legislation commit their own acts of disgrace to those they know in real life and will not reap benefits from what they choose to sow. Scared to be a woman in Michigan, but not afraid to stand up to these misogynists.

  2. thank you so much for opening up to the public and sharing this experience. i had an abortion when i was 18. i had a surgical procedure and do not remember very much discomfort from it. your medical procedure sounds awful and i wish you a speedy recovery. i have no regrets from my decision; i know it was the best for me. i am very happy that mine happened back when these ridiculous requirements didn’t exist. i hope we can get past the judgement and the double standards sooner rather than later.
    again, thank you for sharing your story.

  3. Jesus fuck. No need to post this comment, but what the actual shit? I live in Canada, where my abortions were publically funded by my taxes. I made a phone call to a crisis centre, where I spoke to a (presumably) counsellor who listened when I said “look, I just want an abortion, please help”. They referred me to a hospital, where I entered a special euphamistically labelled ward with high levels of security and a bland, nondescript door. They sat me down, told me about the procedure I was about to undergo, asked me if I was sure this was what I wanted, and then they mostly knocked me out, did a quick D&C, gave me a warm blanket while I recovered, and once the drugs had worn off, they sent me home. There was very little physical pain, mostly discomfort. It was so easy, and safe, and inexpensive (free). (still not “woohoo, abortions every day, who needs birth control?!” easy, because yeah, that’s not a thing.) I read what women have to go through in the US when they find themselves unwilling/unable to carry a pregnancy to term, and it makes me sick. Children are not a life lesson, not a consequence of irresponsibity. No child should ever be born unwanted. But many women simply don’t want to be pregnant, but end up that way regardless. They don’t have to stay that way, and it doesn’t have to be a bad thing, or a traumatic thing.

    Thank you for this blog, I think it’s a really wonderful thing when I read about other women’s experiences with abortion; so similar to my own, and yet so different, because every abortion is different.

  4. After reading your fabulously well written, and honest blog entries, I felt better. I had my first and only abortion about 8 months ago. I have told maybe two people and was completely unprepared for what I had in store for me. We are from around the same area of Michigan but the clinic you went to gave you more information on what would happen (even though it was still lacking) then I did by far. I was never even told it would be painful or the effect it would have on me mentally even though I was sure of my decision . I would like to thank you for taking all the fucked criticism from religious nuts in order to get this link to me.

    Also if you are looking for volunteers (physically needed persons, as I said I’m very close to Detroit) I will gladly be a helping hand. I would love to be a part of something this honest and needed for women who do not have the support/information made available to them.

  5. I would like to thank you for doing this blog.
    I live in the conservative state of Arkansas & terminated a pregnancy two years ago, surgically.
    Reading your posts was truly therapeutic. So many articles, books, & blogs are either politicized or shrouded in Christian/religious rhetoric, which I don’t relate to.
    Having a person genuinely document the pain, the emotional battle between your conscience and social conscience, is very refreshing. I am finally overcoming the depression that has consumed me for nearly two years, and allowing myself to be OK again. I can’t help but wonder if the years of pain could have been lessened if our culture was more accepting and this was less stigmatized.
    Thank you for your words, and keep writing.

  6. Thank you for standing up against the anti-choice vitriol and claiming space for women to discuss abortion as a medical procedure.
    Please continue to do brave work with the ST!

  7. In my country it is illegal to have an abortion after 12 weeks, but if you do it within that period it can be free.
    I think there is less paperwork though i have never had someone close done it; until a couple years ago it used to be illegal alltogether so I wouln’t think many people publicly say they are having one.
    I do think in a lot of cases abortion is the best choice, I don’t know if I’d undergo one myself but regardless of anyone’s opinion women should have access to abortion clinics that do not jeopardize their health we must have freedom to decide for ourselves

  8. Thank you for posting this. Just had a medical abortion on Sunday. I live 1 mile from a clinic where they do abortions, but due to our state laws I had to drive 5 hours to get a same-day abortion… (long story to ensue, bUT Cosmopolitan did an areticle on abortions in our state, South Dakota, and how we were one of THE worst states that had “legal abortions” but are so difficult to obtain most people just drive elsewhere. I found out I was pregnant at 2 weeks, scheduled my 2 abortion appointments (tests and info on Monday, wait the 72 hour state mandated period, take the first pill in-clinic Thursday, do the rest at home Friday or Saturday)at the clinic 1 mile away the VERY next day, but due to “miscommunication” I couldn’t have it done that week. The next week was Thanksgiving, so given the 72 hour state mandate, they could not do them that week. The following week (by now I am 4 weeks pregnant, 6 weeks by legal definition, so only 3 weeks left to have a medical abortion versus surgical, which I knew I couldn’t handle), the doctor they fly in (yes, we have legal abortions but not even our own doctor) was unable to get there due to weather. I went through the 3 hour process of exams and paperwork, waited on the doctor’s plane for 2 hours, then was informed to reschedule the next week. I would graduate from grad school that week and the following week, again due to the 72 hour wait state mandate and holidays, they would not be doing them for the next 2 or 3 weeks. So, I drove to the neighbor state’s only clinic on a Saturday, 5 hours away, by myself (the “father” had completely bailed at this point, emortion ally and financially- I make $10/hr as a graduate student intern). None of the paperwork or exams or anything transferred. It is Wednesday today and I am still expelling tissue, dropping to my knees in pain randomly, trying to take finals, and keeping a smile on my face at work to pretend nothing is wrong. I will have a graduation/going away party this Saturday wearing diaper pads, feeling like a liar, just as you said.
    I appreciate someone finally standing up for this. My family is extremely Catholic and I don’t see why I should have to hide this. Women even feel uncomfortable discussing their miscarriages, something completely out of their control, so we are far from abortion being a “normal” topic, but I appreciate the effort and just hearing someone else’s process.

  9. Thank you for sharing this.
    I wish there wasn’t so much secrecy surrounding abortion. I wish that women could freely talk about their experiences, so that others who may someday have an abortion know what to expect.
    Thank you

  10. Thank you for being so transparent with your experience. We need this transparency as women to help support each other in any decision we may make in life. I wish the best for you.

  11. Thank you for sharing your story. I feel odd saying it was a good read, but it was. You poured yourself into the story, so that others can get a good idea on what they have to face. Thank you.

  12. This was an interesting read. It was interesting reading about another states abortion procedures and another womans exact experience. Mine was done in PA. Like you, it was not a difficult decision. My decision was made even before the pregnancy test stick said yes. Unlike you, I admit, it was done because I was irresponsible. I made a stupid irresponsible mistake and I paid for it and did the most responsible thing after that irresponsible act and got it done immediately. It is interesting you say you were not sad or depressed but you refused to look at the ultrasound or what came out of you. I looked at my ultrasound. It was funny, I asked the nurse to see it and she handed it to me and practically ran out of the room to give me a minute to myself. I saw it was a hollow dot, thought that was interesting and went to get my pill. My pain was not nearly so bad. It was like having really bad period cramps and what comes out looks like a lot of period blood, just more clotted. It was an easy decision for me but certainly not a walk in the park and costly! I learned my lesson. After that I was more responsible with my sexual acts. I don’t regret having it done, I just regret that I had to have it done.

  13. No other Constitutional Right has faced so many (creative, let’s face it) attempts to strip it away from the people who achieved it.

    I was supposed to be doing things for the past hour. I sat down to check my FB page quickly before rushing out the door. But a (male) friend had posted the link to your blog and I was mesmerized. This feels like the most important thing I could have been doing with this particular hour.

    I don’t know you, but I feel a sense of sisterhood with you. And there’s gratitude that you were able to put into words what this experience REALLY means. I hope your words reach people who need to realize that NO woman treats abortion like a stroll in the park.

    I’ll be sharing the link too.

  14. Dear Jex,
    I was captivated by your sincere blog. I am an extremely conservative biblical Christian. So much so that I was disenfranchised from my Bible-belt church. 90% of American “Christians” would think me a nut. So I know what it’s like to be persecuted for standing by one’s belief, in my case from my own ilk.
    The thought that comes to my mind upon hearing your story is simply that I wish I could have been there to help. I would have gladly driven you to the clinic and back and stayed with you to pour you ginger ale and chicken broth during your ordeal. I hate that you had to endure all that alone. Heck, I would have even carried my gun to protect you from any possible anti-abortion nuts!
    Not that I wouldn’t have strongly discouraged your choice. I have been co-conspirator of two abortions in my younger days and believe I witnessed psychological damage to the women. Plus unborn babies do need some legal protection or they will end up being selling sold on the corner for parts. There are however circumstances in which abortion would be the correct choice. The born take precedence over the unborn. And it’s not for me to decide for other people. Yet, as your story bears out, an unwanted pregnancy and its consequences are to be avoided whatever your beliefs.
    I do disagree with you 100% about God. I am very scientifically minded and was an agnostic naturalist for most of my life. I was forced upon the spiritual path by my genetic predisposition to alcohol addiction as a matter of survival. I found my new worldview to be very fulfilling, and for me truth-seeking led to the conviction that the Bible is completely true.
    I think some of your erroneous thinking about God comes from the fact that almost all the religions and churches are counterfeits. The Roman church—you mentioned priests–for example has killed more true believers than any other single entity, about 50 million I think. TV preachers are virtually all phonies. Almost all the major denominations are off-course.
    As for fundamentalists, the Bible is not a rule book. It proscribes a personal spiritual journey which is different for each person. Each individual must seek and find the truth for themselves. It’s a path, and one cannot start at the end.
    I wish you the best. If I held some kind of grudge against everyone who doesn’t believe as I do it would include every other person in my town!
    I do hope that someday you would just try Jesus and the Bible for 90 days while using the same suspension of disbelief you use while watching “They Live.”
    If you or any person who reads this needs help please call on me. Jex, come visit my little hotel sometime no charge and keep on seeking.

  15. I’m glad I found this blog, I honestly have no idea how abortions work and that pretty sad it’s such a taboo part of life.

  16. Thank you for sharing your story. No one is “pro” abortion. And as you beautifully say, no woman wants to use an abortion as birth control. But the option for a safe and legal abortion needs to be available for all women regardless of age, income, where she lives, etc. I’ll never understand these insane (and they are!) legislators intruding in to the most personal decision a woman can make. The hypocrisy. These are the same people who don’t want government taking their guns away, they don’t want government to mandate we all have access to affordable health care but yes, absolutely, government should make it as difficult as possible for women to access a legal medical procedure. I too live in Michigan and these proposals make me sick. Until voters wake up and start voting people with common sense in to office nothing will change. Side note: I read there is only one clinic left in the UP. If that’s true it is ridiculous. Thank you, again, for sharing your experience.

  17. Thank you for this honest insight into your experience. I am a mother of 2, but that was my choice and I believe that what is right for one person is not always right for others. I was disturbed and heartbroken to hear about all the paperwork and especially the ultrasound that Michigan mandates. Nothing like making a woman feel even worse about her decision.

  18. I had a surgical abortion over 15 years ago. It was my only option, there were no pills then. I was in the middle of a divorce and raising 2 children already. My memories of that day are pretty hazy, I was drugged, but not unconscious. My clearest memory is of closing my eyes and the nurse telling me “No, don’t close your eyes honey, stay right here with me.” Why did she say that? I still wonder about it. Did she think that I would be any LESS present in that moment if I closed my eyes? The next day I packed up my girls and drove 6 hours to spend Thanksgiving with my family. I have never once regretted my choice. Thank you for your story and for providing me a safe place to share some of mine.

  19. I don’t see why everyone is making such a huge deal over your blog about your abortion. I live in a very small town, a town that considers itself to be very tolerant and open minded. Imagine my surprise when I look in the daily paper and see your face, with a headline about your blogging experiences (which by the way mentions your religion and profession).
    Don’t get me wrong, I am not a Christian. I am neither pro-life, nor pro-choice. As I write this, I find myself questioning if a response is appropriate, because I’m pregnant. It could come off a bit biased. I don’t think that you’re a terrible person. I don’t think that what you did is evil, nor commendable.
    What I do think is that you have some valid points. Women shouldn’t be shamed for a decision, especially when it’s almost entirely about morality and the choice itself. I also think that some of your methods of getting your point across are entirely crude and childish. I think you’re a decent writer, but not excellent.
    I read your entire series of blogs, that is to say those that have been posted. I found myself curious about the procedures, interested mildly in your interactions. I am just wondering why you thought that an abortion (and what sounds to be an abortion early in your second trimester, I could be wrong) would be as simple as Plan B. Yes, being pregnant is excruciating, exhausting, and all in all not a fun experience. Apparently, so is aborting a pregnancy.
    If you caught nothing more from my comments, I would like to leave you to at least ponder one thing. When you refer to your aborted fetal tissue, does it make you feel better to call the tissue “it”? Like a problem that you decided wasn’t worth solving, or a memory that haunts you, but you refuse recognition? I don’t think abortion is evil.
    I believe that if a woman gets an abortion, she shouldn’t be shamed. But it isn’t as simple as getting your tonsils removed. Sometimes, there is regret, and emotional pain other than stigma. Recognizing it as a loss, rather than a solution to a monumental problem, may even help destigmatize abortion. I don’t mean recognizing the loss of the fetus, or embryo, or fetal tissue. Sometimes it’s good to let the woman know that it’s okay to have feelings about their abortion. Don’t deny a woman her emotional well being. Inadvertently, you portray no regret, a sense of entitlement, no guilt, no remorse, no wonder, and no middle ground. It’s impossible to be completely impartial. You may not hate yourself, nor should you have to, but there may be a feeling of loss. Acknowledging that is one of the first steps to helping women through hard times. So if it makes you feel better to call the fetal tissue “it”, then by all means. But realize that you sound so cold.

    1. I called the fetal tissue “it” because a gender had determined prior to my abortion, it was not a philosophical decision, just the reality. Women are entitled to feel however is appropriate for them regarding their personal medical decisions. I do not regret my decision, I did not wonder about the potential pregnancy, if I portrayed a sense of entitlement, it would be a reflection of my belief that we are all entitled to make personal decisions about our health free from ridicule from outsiders. Some women may see their abortion as a loss, and others may not. Neither viewpoint is more valid than the other.

  20. Thank you for this bluntly written blog. Truth! I myself felt every word you wrote. I’m a early 30’s mom of a toddler, living life in govt assistance from all aspects. No father figure for my toddler already. I already had made my decision before the test results. Once I seen the lines that proved my mind, I knew I needed to look for a clinic. In my state WV there’s only a few. Hours away, no way to afford to travel and stay the night. Most needed a follow up the next day. Who’s gonna watch my child too? I had to travel to a neighboring state. Made the appointment and because they only do services on certain days I got pushed back so far medical was out the question. Surgical was my only option by 3 days… 3 stinking days! 9w3d. Nixon era rooms as well. Staff friendly. But the experience with having surgical and being conscience was mind blowing. I’ll never put myself through that. Your documentation of everything afterwards was almost similar I still had pains and cramps and clotting. I wish more women could stand up and speak their story.en deciding what going on with our bodies is ridiculous! Thanks again for speaking out and documenting your experience!

  21. I wept.
    I had an abortion at 18, when I was in no way able to be a mother to anyone. I couldn’t even take care of myself. For years, I’ve felt so very, very lonely in that decision, even though I know it was the right one.
    The worst part? No one told me how much it would fucking HURT. I’m 34, married and a mother now- by choice, and I can still remember that deep, primal screaming pain in my guts. And my back. And my breasts.
    Thank you for sharing this. It means a lot to me.

  22. I just found your blog and I want to say thank you. Thank you for sharing your experiences. I’ve had a couple of scares, but thankfully they were negative. My body likes to forget to menstruate when I’m really stressed.
    It is insane, the paperwork and hoops you had to jump through and the pain of the abortion.
    But, I’m really glad you shared this. Again, thank you.

  23. I want to thank you and show support. Thank you for this informative blog. I supported someone after a legal abortion and I would do it again. I maintain a savings account in case I ever need one. It is never our place to judge or shame someone for making this choice. Birth control and abortion should be free, accessible, and legal to everyone in the world. I hope you are better now and have a good support network.

  24. Wow. This is so eye opening. I’m staunchly pro-choice but have never been in need of abortion services. It’s so informative to read what actually happens not only to obtain one but what you physically went through. Thank you for your bravery in writing this.

  25. I am 50. When I was 16, I had an abortion, in Texas, if you can believe that. My mother made all the arrangements, took me and nursed me afterward. I will be forever grateful for her support. When I had my abortion, a D&C, there were no waiting periods, no parental consent, you could get condoms and birth control rx, free or at sliding scale. High schools had comprehensive sex education, there was a visiting nurse practitioner who came to the high schools and would get you tested for STD’s and pregnancy. I graduated in 1983. In that short, to me, period of time an entire generation of young women have lived with the right to an abortion. Your experience proves the necessity to not be apathetic, complaisant or facile when it comes to reproductive rights. My mother’s generation used wire hangers stabbed through the cervix, would douche with bleach or whatever available abortifacient they could find. The people who don’t believe women should have access to birth control or medically safe abortions should Google Gerri Santoro. I am in Arizona, otherwise I would volunteer with your organization. Really, if you think there are religious fuck-jobs up north, come on down to the state with headless kidnap victims, oh! and bring your passport and or birth certificate. In this state they are just as interested in who and how many I fuck, whether the availability of birth control leads to fucking and, if you do, in fact NOT want to be a parent, make it as difficult as possible to not be. I am constantly amazed that the people who want little to no government are so very interested in my vagina and yours, and whom we screw. Really. I applaud your courage, your publicity will help others who feel isolated by shame and fear. Having an abortion is already not the best day of your life, no need to make it worse.

  26. Hello Jex,
    I just found this blog and read everything up to this point in one sitting. I am stunned. So many things I had never known. I am going to recommend this site to my UU Church’s Sex Education Program Director, as I think that what you have written here is something that could be of great benefit to our youth (and to people in general). I don’t know what her response will be, but know that you have given me insights I never would have known, and I am very appreciative of that.

  27. Wow! WTF!! This anti choice/anti woman bullshit is fucken ridiculous! I want to thank you again for sharing your experience with us all and putting yourself out there like that. It’s greatly appreciated!!!! It will be one year this August 5 that I took the first pill for my chemical abortion. I wish I would have came across this at the time. I have no regrets but have felt like shit about it sometimes. This makes me feel a lot better ! Thank you so much Jex!! 🙂

  28. Thank you. I appreicate this insightful detailed documentary of your experience. Your writing shared aspects of the journey that is often untold: the pain, the carried and percieved stigmitization that you constantly remind yourself, the fear of being found out as a fraud as you contemplate exactly what and who the hell you’re lying to.. yourself? who knows. you’re the realest, I appreciate you. – ps, lil homie cant spell. Anal grammer nazis begone.

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