Michigan Legislature To Vote To Ban Abortion Procedure

May 14, 2019 - 6:22 am

LANSING (WWJ/AP) - Michigan's Republican-led Legislature is poised to vote to ban a common second-trimester abortion procedure, pushing ahead with legislation that would likely be vetoed by Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

The bills up for votes Tuesday would prohibit physicians from performing a dilation and evacuation abortion except to save a woman's life. The procedure, which anti-abortion advocates call "dismemberment," was used in 1,777, or 6.7%, of abortions in Michigan in 2017.

With Whitmer expected to veto the measures if they reach her desk, Right to Life is preparing to launch an identical citizens' initiative that could be enacted by lawmakers without her signature. Abortion-rights supporters say the legislation is unconstitutional.

"The pro-choice people say this is just bad legislation, and the docs say yes it is. But the Right to Life folks have a stranglehold, if you will, in the Michigan legislature as they've got more than enough votes in the state Senate to pass this thing," said WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick. "But there's a new governor and she is pro-choice. So if the Senate Republicans do it and the House Republicans do it, Gretchen Whitmer likely will not. She'll veto it."

Courts have blocked bans on the procedure in other states, and the issue ultimately may be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.