Michigan has an enviable record for protecting women and the unborn from the harms inherent in abortion including imposing medically appropriate patient care standards on abortion facilities, regulating the provision of chemical abortions, and limiting taxpayer funding of abortion and abortion providers. However, Michigan has not been as successful in limiting emerging biotechnologies. In 2008, Michigan voters approved a measure permitting and funding destructive embryo research.
- Michigan possesses an enforceable abortion prohibition should the U.S. Constitution be amended or certain U.S. Supreme Court decisions be reversed or modified.
- Michigan prohibits partial-birth abortion.
- A physician may not perform an abortion on a woman until at least 24 hours after the woman receives information on the probable gestational age of her unborn child, along with state-prepared information or other material on prenatal care and parenting, the development of the unborn child, a description of abortion procedures and their inherent complications, and assistance and services available through public agencies.
- Women must be informed of the availability of ultrasounds and be given the opportunity to view the results of an ultrasound prior to abortion.
- A physician to screen woman for coercion before performing an abortion. The Department of Community Health has been instructed to develop a notice concerning coerced abortions to be posted in abortion facilities.
- A physician may not perform an abortion on an unemancipated minor under the age of 18 without the written consent of one parent unless there is a medical emergency or the minor obtains a court order.
- The Michigan Attorney General has issued opinions that the state’s informed consent and parental consent statutes apply both to surgical abortions and to the use of mifepristone (RU-486).
- Under Michigan law, abortion clinics (where more than 50 percent of the patients served undergo abortions) are regulated as “freestanding surgical outpatient facilities.” The regulations provide for minimum health and safety standards in such areas as clinic administration, staff qualifications, and physical plant.
- Michigan limits the performance of abortions to licensed physicians.
- Michigan has an enforceable abortion reporting law, but does not require the reporting of information to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The measure pertains to both surgical and nonsurgical abortions and requires abortion providers to report short-term complications.
- Michigan follows the federal standard for Medicaid funding for abortions, only permitting the use of federal or state matching Medicaid funds for abortions necessary to preserve the life of the woman or when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.
- Michigan prohibits organizations that receive state funds from using those funds to provide abortion counseling or to make referrals for abortion, and only permits ultrasound grants if they will not be used for assisting in the performance of elective abortions.
- Family planning funds are prioritized for organizations which do not perform elective abortions within a facility owned or operated by the organization, make referrals for abortions, or have written policies which consider abortion a method of family planning.
- Michigan requires that a woman be examined and specifically prohibits physicians from utilizing an internet web camera for chemical abortions. The physician must also be present when the drugs are dispensed.
Legal Recognition ans Protection of Unborn and Newly Born:
- Under Michigan law, the killing of an unborn child at any stage of gestation is defined as a form of homicide.
- Michigan defines criminal assaults on a pregnant woman that result in miscarriage, stillbirth, or “damage to pregnancy” as an enhanced offense for sentencing purposes.
- Michigan defines a nonfatal assault on an unborn child as a crime.
- Michigan has applied the affirmative defense of “defense of others” to cases where a woman uses force (including deadly force) to protect her unborn child.
- The state allows a wrongful death (civil) action when an unborn child at any stage of development is killed through a negligent or criminal act.
- The state has created a specific affirmative duty of physicians to provide medical care and treatment to infants born alive at any stage of development.
- Michigan requires healthcare professionals to report suspected prenatal drug exposure.
- In November 2008, voters passed a “Stem Cell Initiative,” amending the state constitution to legalize destructive embryo research and to allow the funding of research on human embryos.
- Michigan does not maintain a comprehensive ban on fetal experimentation, prohibiting only experimentation on live fetuses and allowing research on dead fetuses with the consent of the mother.
- The Michigan Legislature has directed the state to establish a state-wide network of cord blood stem-cell banks and to promote public awareness and knowledge about the banks and banking options, if funds are available.
- Michigan does not maintain any meaningful regulation of assisted reproductive technologies.
End of Life Laws:
- In Michigan, assisted suicide is a felony.
Healthcare Freedom of Conscience:
Participation in Abortion:
- A physician, nurse, medical student, nursing student, or individual who is a member of, associated with, or employed by a hospital, institution, teaching institution, or healthcare facility who objects on religious, moral, ethical, or professional grounds is not required to participate in abortions.
- A hospital, institution, teaching institution, or healthcare facility is not required to participate in abortion, permit an abortion on its premises, or admit a woman for the purposes of performing an abortion.
Participation in Research Harmful to Human Life:
- Michigan currently provides no protection for the rights of healthcare providers who conscientiously object to participation in human cloning, destructive embryo research, or other forms of medical research, which violate a provider’s moral or religious belief.
What Happened in 2013:
- Michigan considered legislation amending its abortion clinic regulations, enhancing its informed consent requirements, and limiting taxpayer funding for abortion and abortion providers.
- Michigan considered measures related to advance planning documents, as well as measures related to pain management and palliative care.
- The state also considered legislation offering or expanding protection for healthcare payers, but such legislation would not be enforceable against the so-called “HHS mandate” that requires nearly all health insurance plans to provide full coverage (without co-pay) of all “FDA approved contraceptives.”
Recommendations for Michigan
Women’s Protection Project Priorities:
- Women’s Health Defense Act (5-month abortion limitation)
- Abortion Patients’ Enhanced Safety Act
- Parental Involvement Enhancement Act
- Child Protection Act
- Abortion Mandate Opt-Out Act
- Defunding the Abortion Industry and Advancing Women’s Health Act
- Coercive Abuse Against Mothers Prevention Act
- Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act
- Joint Resolution Commending Pregnancy Resource Centers
- Repeal of constitutional amendment permitting and funding destructive embryo research
- Promotion of ethical forms of research
- Assisted Reproductive Technologies Disclosure and Risk Reduction Act
Healthcare Freedom of Conscience:
- Healthcare Freedom of Conscience Act