abortion

Stateside
4:42 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Michigan legislature has 40 days to act on Right to Life measure

(file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

This week could bring a vote in the State Legislature that will be closely watched by those on either side of the abortion debate.

The vote would be on a citizen-initiated bill that could end abortion coverage as a standard feature in health insurance policies.

Right-To-Life of Michigan turned in more than 315,000 signatures to get this bill before the Legislature. 

And today, the Board of State Canvassers certified this voter-initiated petition, which sends it on to the state Legislature.

MLive reporter Jonathan Oosting joined us today to discuss the issue.

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Government
7:42 am
Mon December 2, 2013

In this morning's headlines: Anti abortion coverage, casino dispute, wolf hunt

User: Brother O'Mara flickr

Anti abortion coverage proposal could move forward today

"A proposal to require insurance companies to stop offering abortion coverage as part of basic health insurance plans takes a critical step today. Right to Life advocates want insurance companies to offer abortion coverage only as a separate rider to women. The Board of State Canvassers is expected to certify that the group collected enough signatures to put the proposal before the legislature," Steve Carmody reports.

U.P. tribe and the state in U.S. Supreme Court over off-reservation casino

"An Upper Peninsula Indian tribe will defend itself today before the United States Supreme Court against a lawsuit filed by the state of Michigan. The state is trying to stop the tribe from opening an off-reservation casino in the town of Vanderbilt in northern lower Michigan," Rick Pluta reports.

Group to gather signatures to have wolf hunt next year

"A pro-hunting coalition is launching a campaign to collect petition signatures seeking a possible third statewide vote next November on hunting wolves in Michigan. Their measure would let the Natural Resources Commission name game species, protecting Michigan's new wolf hunt. The state says that hunters had killed 17 wolves in the Upper Peninsula through Sunday morning," the Associated Press reports.

Politics & Government
3:03 pm
Sun December 1, 2013

Proposal to make Michigan women buy separate health insurance for abortion coverage moving forward

The Board of State Canvassers will meet at the state capitol on Monday.
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

A proposal to prohibit basic health insurance plans from covering abortions goes before the Board of State Canvassers tomorrow.   Women would be able to buy separate abortion riders for their health insurance policies.

The Board is expected to certify that a petition drive has enough signatures to put the matter before the legislature.

Genevieve Marnon is with Right to Life of Michigan.   She says women should pay for abortion coverage themselves.

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Politics & Government
6:30 am
Fri November 29, 2013

Abortion, issue ads, Medicaid expansion could see legislative action in December

(file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

It could be a busy December for state lawmakers after they return from their Thanksgiving break.

Here are some of the issues that could come up for debate before the end of the year.

Paying for the Medicaid expansion delay – In a procedural vote earlier this year, state lawmakers delayed by about two months the implementation of Michigan’s Medicaid expansion law. In doing so, they created a hole in the budget of more than $70 million.

Legislative leaders say passing a bill to fill that hole is one of their top priorities in the coming weeks.

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Politics & Government
8:18 am
Wed November 27, 2013

Lessenberry talks abortion coverage, millions to small businesses in Detroit and bankruptcy

Peter Martorano Flickr

Week in Michigan Politics interview

In this Week in Michigan Politics, Christina Shockley and Jack Lessenberry discuss a proposal to block abortions from being covered in basic health plans, how Warren Buffett is backing millions of dollars in an initiative to help small businesses in Detroit, and look to next week when Judge Steven Rhodes will decide if Detroit is eligible for bankruptcy.

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Politics & Government
7:12 am
Tue November 26, 2013

In this morning's headlines: DET bankruptcy, fungal meningitis, abortion coverage

Morning News Roundup, Thursday, Oct. 13, 2011
User: Brother O'Mara Flickr

Federal judge will announce if Detroit is eligible for bankruptcy next week

"A judge says he'll announce Dec. 3 whether Detroit is eligible to get rid of its debts in bankruptcy court," the Associated Press reports

Michigan and federal government investigate fungal meningitis outbreak

"Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette is joining forces with federal authorities to investigate last year’s fungal meningitis outbreak. Michigan was hardest-hit by the nationwide outbreak that’s linked to tainted steroids from a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy," Sarah Cwiek reports.

Enough signatures collected to propose a ban on abortion coverage

"Michigan abortion foes have collected enough signatures to put a proposal before lawmakers to ban abortion coverage from health plans unless a separate policy is bought," the Associated Press reports.

Stateside
5:15 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Could there be major changes in how insurance covers abortion in Michigan?

Capitol Building, Lansing, MI
Matthileo Flickr

24 boxes crammed with 315,477 petition signatures.

That's what it might take to effect a major change in the way insurance covers abortion in Michigan.

Pro-life activists have turned in those signatures in their effort to force insurance companies and health plans to offer abortion coverage only if a customer buys a separate rider, and a woman would have to buy that rider before knowing whether she needs an abortion.

She would not be allowed to buy that coverage after getting pregnant, even in the case of rape or incest.

Kathleen Gray from the Detroit Free Press joined us to talk about this “legislative initiative.”

Law
4:51 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Companies can't use religion as grounds to avoid contraception coverage

Plan B, also known as the 'morning after pill,' is a form of contraception.
IaIvanova Creative Commons

A federal appeals court ruled against a southeastern Michigan natural foods company that claims it should be exempt from the contraception provision in the federal health care law. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion today.

The Affordable Care Act requires employers to provide workers with insurance that covers contraception.

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Politics & Government
12:00 pm
Sat October 5, 2013

Right to Life files abortion coverage petitions

(file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Abortion opponents have turned in more than 315,000 petition signatures calling on the Legislature to place new restrictions on health coverage.

The new law would require consumers to buy separate coverage for abortions.

Abortion opponents say they want to make sure that abortion coverage is not automatic when people buy insurance under the new federal healthcare law. The petition-initiated law would require consumers to buy a separate rider for abortion coverage.

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Politics & Government
5:29 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Michigan Right to Life wants to prevent insurance companies from covering abortion

Hundreds protest abortion restrictions at the state capitol last year.
Credit The Huffington Post

Michigan Right to Life is circulating a petition to prohibit health insurance companies from covering abortions. Individuals who want abortion coverage would have to buy an optional rider in addition to their insurance policy.

If the petition receives enough signatures and the Legislature approves the measure, it would become law without the governor's approval. If the Legislature doesn't act on the measure, it would be voted on by the public.

Pam Sherstad with Michigan Right to Life says only those who want abortion coverage should pay for it.

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Politics & Government
7:29 am
Thu May 23, 2013

In this morning's news: abortion petition, population loss, wolf hunt referendum

User: Brother O'Mara flickr

Petition to ban abortion coverage allowed to move forward

A state elections board has given the go-ahead to a petition drive by anti-abortion groups to prohibit insurance companies from covering abortion in basic health policies.  

“To get this measure before the Legislature, Right to Life needs to gather more than a quarter-million signatures. If it’s approved by the Legislature, the law could not be vetoed. If lawmakers don’t approve the initiative, it would go to the ballot for voter approval,” Rick Pluta reports.  

Michigan communities face population loss in 2012

The Detroit Free Press reports that roughly two out of three Michigan communities lost residents during 2011-2012, according to the US Census. But the state’s overall population grew slightly and most declines were modest in size. Michigan’s total population increased by more than 6,500 people between 2011-2012.

Wolf hunt referendum will be on ballot

A referendum on a state law allowing a wolf hunt in the Upper Peninsula will be on the ballot in November 2014.

“Petitions to let voters decide whether a law allowing a wolf hunt should remain on the books were certified yesterday by a state elections panel...But the Legislature and Governor Rick Snyder also approved a second law. It circumvents the referendum and still allows the state to establish wolf seasons.” Rick Pluta reports.

Stateside
4:29 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

The latest on abortion coverage and wolf hunting

endangeredspecieslawandpolicy.com

An interview with Rick Pluta.

The Board of State Canvassers met today in Lansing. They took up two controversial issues: one involving abortion coverage and another about wolf hunting in Michigan.

The Lansing Bureau Chief for the Michigan Public Radio Network, Rick Pluta, was at the meeting earlier today. He joined us in the studio to talk about these two issues.

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Government
11:48 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Petition drive will seek to ban automatic abortion coverage in Michigan

Rick Pluta Michigan Public Radio

A state elections board has given the go-ahead to a petition drive that would enact a restriction on abortions.

The initiative would ban abortion coverage as a part of basic insurance policies.

Instead, customers and businesses that offer employee coverage would have to buy a separate rider for insurance coverage.

The effort seeks to enact a requirement that was vetoed by Governor Rick Snyder.

If the drive succeeds, the Legislature could adopt the law without the threat of a veto.

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Politics & Government
11:53 am
Wed April 24, 2013

Anti-abortion advocate is suing city of Ann Arbor

The city of Ann Arbor argues this sign is an advertisement and violates city code.
American Freedom Law Center

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - A man who uses his car to spread an anti-abortion message is suing the city of Ann Arbor and its police chief over what he says is the violation of his free-speech rights.

Paul Dobrowolski displays signs with phrases such as "Abortion hurts women" in the window of a vehicle he parks outside a Planned Parenthood facility.

The federal lawsuit was filed Tuesday.

The suit says Dobrowolski was ticketed twice last year for violating a portion of the city code that prohibits parking a vehicle on a street for the purpose of displaying advertising.

One of Dobrowolski's signs gives the name, phone number and address of a facility that provides free ultrasounds.

Ann Arbor Mayor John Hieftje says he doesn't comment on pending litigation, but "the city enforces the law."

Stateside
3:47 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

A closer look at two new state laws

Neeta Lind Flickr

Two laws took effect this week in Michigan, one concerning abortion and the other concerning marijuana. The state Legislature passed the controversial bills in a frenzy of activity last December.

Let's start with the new bill concerning abortion. 

Chad Livingood is the Lansing reporter for the Detroit News and Chris Gautz is  the Capitol correspondent for Crain's Detroit Business. 

They outlined the new law for us, which regulates abortion clinics that provide surgical abortions. 

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Law
12:09 pm
Sat March 30, 2013

Michigan abortion clinics will need license, check for coercion

(file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan abortion clinics will need a state license and must check to make sure women aren't being pressured into getting an abortion under a new law.

Other regulations taking effect Sunday make clearer the proper disposal of fetal remains.

The state estimates 16 more abortion providers will need to be licensed as freestanding outpatient surgical facilities because they perform at least 120 abortions a year.

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Politics & Government
7:02 am
Fri February 22, 2013

In this morning's news: Blue Cross and abortion, alcohol regulations, Detroit's finances

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Blue Cross changes approved without abortion provision

"It looks unlikely state House Republicans will try to add controversial abortion language to a proposed overhaul of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Lawmakers passed the bill out of committee yesterday without a provision that would limit insurers’ ability to cover elective abortions," Jake Neher reports.

Bill would end some Michigan alcohol regulations

"Legislation in the Michigan Senate would overhaul regulation of the state's alcohol industry. The bill would eliminate outdated regulations and increase the size of the industry. One change would make it harder to prosecute those who sell alcohol to someone who is intoxicated," the Associated Press reports.

Governor Snyder says he won't decide on an EM for Detroit for at least another week

"Governor Snyder says he won’t decide whether to put an emergency manager in Detroit for 'at least another week.' But he warned Thursday that the city’s financial situation is 'dire.'", Sarah Cwiek reports.

Politics & Government
9:00 am
Sat February 16, 2013

The week in review

David Defoe flickr

Week in review interview for 2/16/13

This week in review Rina Miller and Jack Lessenberry discuss Detroit’s State of the City address, lawmakers conversation about abortions and Viagra coverage in Senate health plans, and the removal of Pure Michigan right to work ads.

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Politics & Government
7:29 am
Fri February 15, 2013

In this morning's headlines: Right to work ad, Viagra and Detroit gang squad

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Pure Michigan right to work ad cut

"The Michigan Economic Development Corporation has suspended use of the “Pure Michigan” brand to market the state’s new right-to-work status. Democrats and unions complained after the agency used the brand in a Wall Street Journal ad that mentioned the right-to-work law," Rick Pluta reports.

Whitmer asks to cut Viagra out of Senate medical plan

Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer has challenged State Senator Rick Jones to drop Viagra from the Senate's medical plan. This comes after a vote this week to exclude abortion coverage from the Senate's medical plan. Jones says he'd be happy to do so.

Detroiters protest against cut to gang squad

Dozens of Detroiters came out Thursday night to protest Mayor Dave Bing's proposal to get rid of the city's gang squad. Mayor Bing wants to cut the program in order to put more officers on regular beat patrol.

Politics & Government
5:06 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Michigan House leader says 'no' to bill requiring transvaginal ultrasounds

Bills in the legislature would prohibit insurance companies from covering abortions unless the coverage is added seperately.
Steve Rhodes Flickr

House Bill 4187 was introduced by state Rep. Joel Johnson (R-Clare).

It would require that a woman have a "diagnostic ultrasound examination of the fetus at least two hours before an abortion is performed."

Today, State House Speaker Jase Bolger (R-Marshall) announced the House wouldn't take it up.

More from MPRN's Jake Neher:

Bolger says his chamber will not approve any bills requiring women to have a transvaginal ultrasound when seeking an abortion.

He says a bill in the state House goes too far. Ari Adler is a spokesperson for House Speaker Bolger.

"The speaker is very interested in making sure that women have the latest technology available to them for their support, but he is not in support of requiring a transvaginal ultrasound in order for a woman to have an abortion," said Adler.

House Democratic leader Tim Greimel applauded the move. He called the procedure invasive, unnecessary, and unwarranted.

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