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GOP lawmakers hold hearings on proposed ban on abortion procedure

Inside the doctor's office.
Jennifer Morrow

The fight over abortion rights has resumed in the state Legislature. A state House committee opened hearings Wednesday on legislation to ban the dilation-and-evacuation abortion procedure. Similar bills are up for a hearing Thursday before a state Senate committee.

The bills would call the procedure “dismemberment” abortion in state law, and make it illegal.

Republicans say this would be allowed under the Roe v. Wade U.S. Supreme Court decision, although similar laws have been blocked by federal courts in other states.

Opponents say the bills would violate medical best practices and intrude into the doctor-patient relationship. Doctor Laura Owens is with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

She says, “These bills create a dangerous environment for women by denying them access to evidence-based, medically preferred care.”

Merissa Kovach is with the ACLU of Michigan, which opposes the bill.
“In no other field of medicine would this be acceptable," says Kovach. "A woman’s health, not politics, should guide important medical care at every single point in a pregnancy.”
Governor Gretchen Whitmer has said she opposes new abortion restrictions. 

Rebecca Mastee is with the Michigan Catholic Conference, which supports legislation to restrict abortion.

“We should seek out and offer compassionate responses, alternatives to abortion, and support for women. Women deserve better. They deserve better then D-and-E dismemberment procedure. They deserve better than abortion," says Mastee.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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