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Michigan Lawmakers Introduce 20-Week Abortion Ban

Michigan State Senate
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Some Republican lawmakers in Lansing want to shorten the time period when a pregnant woman can get an abortion.  A bill in the Senate would make it a felony to perform abortions after 20 weeks of the probable conception.

Many healthcare professionals use a different timeline for determining the “age” of a fetus.  They start counting from the time of the woman’s last menstrual period.  Using that metric, the bill would actually ban abortions at around 22 weeks.  

Republican Senator Curtis VanderWall is a bill sponsor.  He says the bills do contain an exception:

“If the mother’s life is in jeopardy and the doctors and her come to a consensus it’s the best decision to be made for the life of the mother that child can be taken.”

Opponents say the exception for a "medical emergency" is too vague.  And they say the legislation would impede a doctor’s ability to do what’s best for their patient.

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—Cheyna Roth is a reporter for the Michigan Public Radio network.  Contact WEMU News at 734.487.3363 or email us at studio@wemu.org

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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