FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Lansing)—News reports of a planned Capitol protest for Wednesday, July 18 by pro-abortion rights advocates signals the death of “safe, legal and rare” in Michigan, Michigan Catholic Conference stated today. The rally is in opposition to House Bill 5711, legislation that passed the Michigan House of Representatives in June with bipartisan support that would license non-licensed abortion clinics and inspect locations that have rarely or never been inspected.
“Pro-abortion rights advocates in Michigan seem to have secured the death of their ‘safe, legal and rare" slogan, said Michigan Catholic Conference Policy Advocate Rebecca Mastee in response to the planned rally and opposition to House Bill 5711. “These organizations would rather a woman undergo a major surgical procedure at a clinic that may or may not meet third world standards than ensure her health and safety by bringing such facilities in line with any other outpatient surgical facility.”
Among the more egregious facts that emerged from a March Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Licensing and Regulatory Affairs hearing was the fact that while 99 percent of the abortions in Michigan in 2010 were performed at abortion clinics, only four of those 32 clinics are actually licensed. Most are rarely or never inspected.
According to a March 16 Detroit Free Press column regarding the hearing:
“The director of the Bureau of Health Systems, which is responsible for the licensing and inspection of abortion clinics and a variety of other medical and psychiatric facilities, conceded the state provides relatively lax oversight. But many of the shortcomings pointed out in the report stem from the fact that so few clinics are licensed, said Director Mike Pemble.”
House Bill 5711, which passed the Michigan House of Representatives 70-39 on June 13, would reclassify those abortion clinics that perform six or more abortions in a month as “Freestanding Surgical Outpatient Facilities” and would require such facilities to meet the same standards as any other outpatient surgical facility.
“This planned rally indicates the slogan ‘safe, legal and rare’ is more political than practical,” said Mastee. “The protestors are on the wrong side of the issue and, more importantly, on the wrong side of women’s health.”
House Bill 5711 awaits consideration from the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Michigan Catholic Conference is the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in this state.
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