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This Status Report Archive is current through the June 2014 Status Report.

STATE LEGISLATION

Coercive Abortion Prevention Act: An effort is underway to link HB 4598-4599 to a larger package of human trafficking bills that are making their way through the House and Senate. Important preparations for successfully moving the legislation have taken place among committee chairs, sponsors, and leadership.

House Bills 4598-4599 were introduced by Reps. Amanda Price and Nancy Jenkins on 4/18/13 and referred to the House Criminal Justice Committee. Like numerous versions of this legislation introduced in past sessions, the CAPA bills define efforts to coerce a woman to have an abortion as a crime. No time frame has been established for when bills will be taken up by the committee.

Identical bills were nearly completed at the end of the 2012 session. But they were tabled at the request of Gov. Snyder because he had not reviewed them adequately by the very last day of the session, when the bills were a single floor vote away from final passage. The “Prolife Bus” bill that was enacted in late 2012 requires abortion clinics to screen women for coercion to abort. But that process is being delayed because the legal definition for coercion is found in the CAPA bills that were tabled. Thus, passage of H.B. 4598-99 is a necessity in this session to have screening requirement implemented.

Religious Liberty & Conscience Provision Act: Sen. John Moolenaar reintroduced the Religious Liberty & Conscience Protection Act as SB 136 on 2/5/13, which was referred to the Senate Health Policy Committee. The bill would protect rights of religious liberty and conscience in three general health care areas: Purchasers and sellers of health plans could not be required to buy or offer benefits that violate their religious beliefs; health facilities could not be forced to perform procedures against their beliefs, and individual health care providers could not suffer job discrimination for refusing to participate in an objectionable procedure.

Testimony hearings on SB 136 were held on 3/7/13 and 3/14/13, with the committee voting to report the bill to the full Senate on 3/21/13 by a 5-1 vote. Action on the bill is not expected until after the November election.

Perinatal Hospice & Prenatal Diagnosis Support: Rep. John Olumba introduced HB 5626 on 6/4/14, requiring that parents receiving a prenatal diagnosis that their unborn child has a terminal condition or other disease or disability to be given referrals to appropriate care and support. In most cases the immediate response is to offer parents an abortion. The bill has been referred to the House Health Policy Committee. No time line has been set for action on the bill.

Unborn Child Heartbeat: Rep. Thomas Hooker introduced House Bills 5643-5645 on 6/11/14, which were all referred to the House Health Policy Committee. HB 5643 will require abortionists to confirm that an unborn child has a heartbeat before performing an abortion and provide women with an opportunity to hear or see ultrasound evidence of the heartbeat before they consent to an abortion. HB 5644 would ban abortions from being performed once a fetal heartbeat can be detected. HB 5645 would provide the penalties for violating the heartbeat-based ban. No time line has set for action on the package.

Ultrasound Viewing Update: Rep. Joel Johnson introduced HB 4187 on 2/5/13, which was referred to the House Health Policy Committee. The bill was designed to address the problem of abortion clinics using outdated ultrasound machines to show women poor quality images of their babies as part of the Informed Consent law while using much newer machines to conduct the actual abortion. It also requires that an ultrasound be performed at least 2 hours prior to an abortion and before any pre-operative medications are given to the woman.

A wave of false media reports came out with HB 4187's introduction claiming that the bill would require all women to receive a transvaginal ultrasound prior to obtaining an abortion. The bill does not require such an ultrasound., as has been made clear by statements from the sponsor, Speaker of the House and RLM.

Late term Abortion Hospital Requirement: HB 4161 was introduced by Rep. Hooker on 1/31/13 and referred to the Health Policy Committee. The bill would require that any abortion past 19 weeks of gestation be performed in a hospital with a neonatal unit, and that a protocol be established in advance for implementing the Born Alive Infant Protection Act should the child survive the abortion.

Parental Consent Judge Shopping: S.B. 254 was introduced on March 12, 2013, by Sen. Dave Robertston and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill addresses deficiencies in the “judicial bypass” procedures that a pregnant minor may access under the parental consent law to obtain a waiver from the consent requirement. The legislation has been introduced and considered for a decade, being first passed by the Legislature and vetoed by then-Governor Jennifer Granholm in her first term. On 6-18-2013 the committee voted 3-1 to report the bill to the full Senate. No timeframe has been set for a vote on S.B. 254.

Choose Life License Plate: S.B. 816 was introduced by Senator Patrick Colbeck on 2-25-14 and referred to the Government Operations Committee. Governor Snyder had indicated that he was not planning on signing any fund raising license plate bills into law during his tenure, however, since taking office, he has signed four.

Citizens Accountability Act: S.B. 840 was introduced by Senator Rick Jones on 3-4-14 and referred to the Health Policy Committee. P.A. 208 of 1999 requires doctors who treat a woman suffering from an abortion complication to report it to the state health department. The law is obviously not being followed as the reported rate of complications is .008%.

The Citizen Accountability Act would allow any individual who has knowledge of a woman being treated for an abortion complication to file a “Notice of Compliance” regarding Public Act 208. This notice would be filed simultaneously with the physician or facility treating the complication, the abortionist if he or she did not treat the complication, and the state Department of Community Health.

COURT CHALLENGES

“ObamaCare” Challenges: A variety of organizations and institutions are suing the Obama administration regarding the HHS contraceptive mandate. Right to Life of Michigan filed suit on 11-4-2013. RLM vs. Sebelius was stayed pending the Supreme Court's decision on similar lawsuits. On 3-25-2014, the Supreme Court heard arguments in the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties cases. A ruling is expected by June 2014 at which time our case will be revisited.

FEDERAL LEGISLATION

Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act (CIANA): S 369 sponsored by Sen. Marco Rubio and HR 732 by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, requires any abortionist to notify a parent before performing an abortion on a minor who is a resident of another state, unless the minor has already received authorization from a court in her home state, or unless the abortionist is already required to provide such parental notification by a current law in the state in which he practices. No action has been taken since Feb. 2013.

ObamaCare Multi-state Abortion Limits: S154, introduced by Sen. Tom Coburn on 1-24-13 and HR 346 by Rep. Alan Nummelee on 1-22-13, would amend the law so that "multi-state plans" will not cover abortion, except to save the life of the mother, or in cases of rape or incest, which is the policy that Congress has already applied to health plans offered to federal employees. The bills were referred to committee and not action has been taken since Jan. 2013.

D.C./Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act: S. 886 by Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced on 5-7-13. The Constitution gives Congress and the president responsibility for the governance of the District of Columbia. This bill prohibits abortions in the District of Columbia after 20 weeks post-fertilization, except when an acute physical condition endangers the life of the mother. S. 886 was referred to committee with no further action.

Similar bills are the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act: H.R. 1797, introduced by Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) on 4-26-13 and S. 1670 by Sen Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on 11-7-13 which prohibits abortion nationwide if the unborn child is 20 weeks or greater, except: (1) where necessary to save the life of a pregnant woman whose life is endangered by a physical disorder, illness, or injury, excluding psychological or emotional conditions; or (2) where the pregnancy is the result of rape, or the result of incest against a minor. HR 1797 passed the house on 6-18-13 with a 226-98 vote and S. 1670 was referred to committee with no further action.

The Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA): S 138 by Sen. David Vitter 1-24-13 on and HR 447 by Rep. Trent Franks on 2-1-13, would apply federal criminal penalties to any person who does any of the following: (1) performs an abortion knowing that such abortion is sought based on the sex of the child; (2) uses force or the threat of force to intentionally injure or intimidate any person for the purpose of coercing a sex-selection abortion; (3) solicits or accepts funds for the performance of a sex-selection abortion; or (4) transports a woman into the United States or across a State line for the purpose of obtaining a sex-selection abortion. The bills were referred to committee and have had no further action since Feb. 2013.

Family Planning Abortion Defunding (Planned Parenthood): The Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act, S. 135 introduced by Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) on 1-24-13 and HR 217 introduced by Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) on 1-4-13, would prohibit funds under the federal Title X ("Title 10") family planning program from going to entities (other than hospitals) that perform abortions (except to save the life of the mother, or in cases of rape, or incest against a minor) -- including, but not limited to, affiliates of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA). The bills were referred to committee and no further action has been taken since Jan. 2013.

Health Care Conscience Rights Act: HR 940, introduced by Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) on 3-8-13 and S. 1204 introduced by Sen. Tom Colburn (R-OK) on 6-20-13. The bill would amend ObamaCare to prevent the imposition of regulatory mandates that violate the religious or moral convictions of those who purchase or provide health insurance. The bill would also prevent any level of government from discriminating against health care providers, including doctors, nurses, hospitals, and insurers, who decline to participate in abortions. In addition, it would empower victims to seek relief in court for violations of the federal conscience laws. The bills were referred to committed and no action has been taken since June 2013.

Homeland Security Respect for Life Act: HR 493, by Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-MI) on 2-5-13, provides that no funds appropriated to the federal Department of Homeland Security, from any federal program, may be used to fund abortions, except to save the life of the mother, or in cases of rape or incest. The bill was referred to committee and no further action has been taken since Feb. 2013.

Stop Targeting of Political Beliefs by the IRS Act: HR 3865, by Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI) on 1-14-14 and S. 2011 by Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) on 2-11-14 is a bill to prohibit the Internal Revenue Service from modifying the standard for determining whether an organization is operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare for purposes of section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. HB 3865 passed the house on 2-26-14 and S. 2011 was referred to committee. There has been no further action.

Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act: HR 3279, by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) on 10-9-13 and S. 1848 by Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) on 12-18-2013 is the bill that amends Obamacare to require that in cases where abortion coverage is allowed in exchange plans, the extent of coverage shall be prominently displayed in advertising materials. In cases where public funding is prohibited, the premium for the plan must be disclosed and separately identified. Both bills were referred to committee.

Similar bills are No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act: HR 7 also by Chris Smith on 5-14-13 and S. 946 by Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) on 5-14-13 which amend Obamacare in the same way as the Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act except it is specific to Washington DC and federal employees. HR 7 passed the house on 1-28-14 and S. 946 was referred to committee. No further action has been taken on any of the bills.

Human Cloning Prohibition Act: HR 2164 introduced by Rep Andy Harris (R-MD) on 5-23-13 amends the federal criminal code to prohibit any public or private person or entity, in or affecting interstate commerce, from: (1) performing or attempting to perform human cloning; (2) participating in an attempt to perform human cloning; or (3) shipping, receiving, or importing the product of human cloning for any purpose. Sets forth criminal and civil penalties for violations. HR 2164 was referred to committee and no further action has been taken.

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