A voter-initiated law that requires women to purchase a separate rider to have insurance coverage for abortion has been approved by both the Michigan House and Senate.
Gongwer News Service Publisher John Lindstrom told WMUK's Gordon Evans that this is a law that Right to Life of Michigan has wanted for well over a decade. He says they went through the petition process because similar laws have been vetoed by Governror Rick Snyder and former Governor John Engler, both Republicans.
Lawmakers can either approve a voter-initiated law or put it on the statewide ballot. Lindstrom says usually laws brought to the Legislature through petition drive go to the ballot. He says there was some hesitation to vote on the issue now, they had until the end of January to act. Lindstrom says supporters of the provision, put pressure on lawmakers to pass the proposal now. Lindstrom says it's an example of the influence Right to Life holds in Lansing, especially with Republican lawmakers.
Wednesday's debate was marked by emotional, personal stories from female lawmakers, including Gretchen Whitmer who revealed the she was raped while in college. Lindstrom says that shows how emotional the issue is in Lansing. He says on the other side, Right to Life of Michigan brought children who had been conceived in a rape to argue for the legislation.
Democratic State Representative Sean McCann of Kalamazoo and Portage Republican Representative Margaret O'Brien both responded (Kalamazoo Gazette stories)
to the approval of the legislation on Wednesday,