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Michigan Law Could Restrict Information for Women Seeking Abortions

On November 29, the Michigan Senate passed a bill restricting women seeking abortions, requiring that, when obtaining information to meet the state’s informed consent requirements via the internet, they must use the state’s website. More specifically, the new law, which is expected to be approved by both the Michigan House of Representatives and Governor John Engler (R), stipulates that women seeking the required information over the internet must obtain it from the Michigan Department of Community Health website, and not from the sites of abortion providers. Moreover, the site would print out a date and time of viewing to ensure the patient meets the 24-hour informed consent requirement. Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan opposes the new requirements, calling them “outrageous.” The law would require a patient to print out confirmation that she had viewed the Michigan Department of Community Health website, and would require women without internet access to receive information via registered mail, requiring her signature upon receipt. Under current regulations, women receiving the information by mail do not have to provide a signature, helping to protect confidentiality. Planned Parenthood asserts that the proposed bill serves “no purpose,” but “add[s] new burdensome requirements for women seeking an abortion.” Read Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan’s statement on this restrictive law.

Sources:

Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan and Chicago Tribune - November 30, 2000 and Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Report - December 1, 2000