Michigan Lawmakers Introduce 20-Week Abortion Ban

Mar 11, 2019

Michigan State Senate Chamber
Credit Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

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