Mich. Senate adopts stiff abortion rules

Dec. 13, 2012 at 5:25 PM

LANSING, Mich., Dec. 13 (UPI) -- The Michigan Legislature continues a lawmaking blitz, approving stiff restrictions on abortion and a new emergency manager law, observers say.

On Thursday, however, the state Senate rejected a move to end background checks on person-to-person gun sales, MLive.com reported.

A bill that passed the Senate on Wednesday would require abortion clinics to dispose of fetuses by the same methods used for bodies, The Detroit News reported. Doctors would also be required to ensure women have not been coerced into having abortions before the procedure.

Rebecca Mastee, Michigan Catholic Conference policy advocate, said legislators had "placed the dignity of women ahead of the financial interests of the abortion industry."

Lori Lamerand, who heads Planned Parenthood - Mid and South Michigan, disagreed: "The rhetoric that this legislation is about keeping women safe is just that -- rhetoric."

Michigan voters in November repealed the state's emergency manager law for financially troubled cities and towns. The Senate adopted a new version that gives municipal officials more options, including agreeing to a manager or a financial plan with the state or filing for Chapter 9 bankruptcy.

The law was designed to make it immune to a referendum by including a financial appropriation. Democrats accused the Republicans who control both houses of circumventing the popular will, while Republicans said they were responding to it.

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