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Michigan bill would penalize abortion providers

The measure seeks to punish abortion providers with prison time. Abortion rights advocates say the bill will make things harder on women.

MICHIGAN, USA — While the U.S. Supreme Court appears poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, a new bill introduced in Michigan would enact harsh penalties on abortion providers.

The republican-sponsored bill was introduced by State Representative Steve Carra (R-Three Rivers), and five other GOP lawmakers Wednesday.

The measure seeks to punish abortion providers with prison time.

Abortion rights advocates, including Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, say the bill will make things harder on women.

Abortion remains legal in Michigan but there is a dormant law in Michigan that criminalizes all abortions except those performed to protect the life of the pregnant person.

If Roe v. Wade is overturned, prosecutors could use that law to charge doctors and others connected to abortion.

However, a recent court ruling temporarily blocks enforcement of the law.

House Bill 6270 creates a 10-year prison sentence for doctors who perform any abortion considered illegal and 20 years for anyone manufacturing, selling or distributing medication to induce an abortion.

The bill does say a woman seeking an abortion cannot be prosecuted and contraceptives, such as Plan B, could be taken "before the time when a pregnancy could be determined through conventional medical testing."

Whitmer says the bill infringes on a woman's right to make her own healthcare decisions. She says the bill is disturbing, unsettling and will set women back decades.

The legislation has been assigned to the House Judiciary Committee.

In Michigan, Republicans control both the House and Senate. If the bill is passed, it probably faces an uphill climb. The governor is likely to veto it.

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