Monday, May 27, 2013

Anti-Choice Groups Lead Petition, Attack Access to Abortion Care Coverage in Michigan

The nightmare isn't over yet in Michigan. Last year, anti-choice politicians wrought a series of harmful attacks on women's reproductive healthcare through the state legislature, opposed by many. Unfortunately, Right to Life is revamping its reign of anti-choice measures – and this time, through a backhanded tactic through which less than 3% of Michigan's voters could decide the fate of its female citizens.

Right to Life has announced its part in driving a petition that would require women to purchase separate riders to their health insurance policies in order to have abortion coverage. This “plan for your unplanned pregnancies” initiative would serve as an economic strain on women and their families, and prevent many women from having access to abortion care due to their inability to afford the rider.

Economics aside, Michigan residents should be outraged at the petition's blatant disregard for women's health and bodily autonomy. In December of 2012, Gov. Snyder agreed that the initiative was harmful when he vetoed legislation with the same intent, reportedly saying it “just went too far.” According to the Detroit Free Press, with a mere 258,088 valid signatures and the approval of Michigan's legislature, anti-choicers' overt assault on women's access to safe, affordable reproductive care will “become a law without a signature from the governor,” or even “a public vote.”

Sidestepping Gov. Snyder's decision and leaving women's lives to the discretion of a fraction of the voting population of Michigan isn't just underhanded of anti-choice extremists – it's disrespectful, malicious and will serve only to harm women and limit their choices. When it comes to women's personal decision making, Michigan is in a precarious condition. Quietly opposing this vindictive anti-choice measure is not enough. Arm those you care about with the knowledge: allow them to protect women's reproductive rights by refusing to support this treacherous proposal.

Kai Niezgoda, NOW Intern

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