Although the bill passed Wednesday primarily targets abortion providers, other provisions -- such as the requirement that fetal remains past 10 weeks be disposed of by burial, cremation or interment, unless the mother specifically agrees that they can be used for medical research -- are meant to punish women themselves.
Another piece of legislation bound for Snyder's desk would allow health care professionals to refuse to provide any health care service to which they have a "moral objection," and let employers refuse to pay for the same reason. A provision added to a package of bills to reform Blue Cross Blue Shield would require women in Michigan to purchase an opt-in abortion rider to have such services covered by insurance.
Together, the bills would make Michigan among the most regressive states in the nation for women's health; the American Civil Liberties Union says they would essentially duplicate the hospital rules in place in Catholic Ireland. Those rules attracted worldwide attention when a young Irish woman in the process of miscarrying her first child was denied an abortion on the grounds that her life wasn't at stake. As it turned out, the hospital's doctors had guessed wrong; Savita Halappanavar died from septicemia.
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