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Following national trend, bills restricting abortion introduced in Michigan Senate

Woman getting ultrasound
Alexander Raths
Adobe Stock

Some Republicans in the state Senate have introduced bills (SB 357 & SB 358) that would drastically limit when a woman can get an abortion.

The bills would make it a felony for a physician to administer an abortion after a heartbeat has been detected. That’s usually at around six to eight weeks of gestation. There is an exception if there is an emergency that puts the life of the mother is at risk.

Currently, a woman can get an abortion up to around 24 weeks of gestation.

Senator Ed McBroom (R-Vulcan) is a bill sponsor. He says he’s been thinking about tying heartbeats to abortion for a long time.

“But then seeing a lot of other states pursuing it and doing it, it seemed like the time was right to push forward with that," McBroom said. "And continue to try to highlight the sanctity of every human life.”

A similar bill has been introduced in the state House. Governor Gretchen Whitmer has said that she would veto bills that add restrictions to abortion access. However, the anti-abortion group Right to Life has started a ballot initiative that could make the measure law without Whitmer’s signature.

So-called "fetal heartbeat" bills have passed in multiple states in recent months, including Ohio, Missouri and Georgia. Supporters of those bills have stated the ultimate goal of such laws are to eventually challenge Roe v. Wade.

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County. Eventually, Cheyna took her investigative and interview skills and moved on to journalism. She got her masters at Michigan State University and was a documentary filmmaker, podcaster, and freelance writer before finding her home with NPR. Very soon after joining MPRN, Cheyna started covering the 2016 presidential election, chasing after Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and all their surrogates as they duked it out for Michigan. Cheyna also focuses on the Legislature and criminal justice issues for MPRN. Cheyna is obsessively curious, a passionate storyteller, and an occasional backpacker. Follow her on Twitter at @Cheyna_R
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