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Latest post 05-29-2002 12:00 AM by Admin002. 14 replies.
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  • 01-01-2001 12:00 AM

    2001 House Bill 4655

    Introduced in the House on April 24, 2001, to require that agencies and organizations that do not perform abortions, make abortion referrals, have a written policy that considers elective abortion part of a continuum of family planning services, or advocate for continued legal abortion be given priority in the allocation of state funds for family planning programs. The bill would not apply in an area in which there are no service providers applying for government funding which fit the description

    The vote was 67 in favor, 36 opposed and 6 not voting

    (House Roll Call 834 at House Journal 88)

    Click here to view bill details.
  • 01-03-2002 12:00 AM In reply to

    "No" Vote Explanation

    Reps. Bogardus and Hale made the following statement:

    "Mr. Speaker and members of the House:

    On Sept. 11, over 3000 people were crushed or burned to death because there is a group of people who believe we should have a theocracy; government controlled by religious beliefs. That thought drove the Inquisition although it certainly is more efficient to burn 3000 people at once instead of the one or a few as was done when religion controlled government.

    Fortunately, we do not have a theocracy, we have a democracy. We have the Constitution, which guarantees freedom of religion to all citizens. That document has allowed us to function for over 200 years as a country of diverse people with diverse religious beliefs. We have people who believe that life begins when sperm combines with an egg. We also have people whose belief is that God created man, then breathed the breath of life into him as is described in the book of Genesis; therefore, life begins with the first breath. This bill strikes at the heart of the right of religious freedom. It is an attempt to force one belief on all through legislation. If passed, it would prevent state funds being given to any organization which provides or even gives referrals for abortion services. Bin Laden justified burning 3000 people because he believes God is on his side and any act is justified if it promotes Bin Laden's beliefs. Members of this body who voted for this bill believe they have the right to impose their beliefs on everyone through government action.

    Have we learned nothing from the horror of history and Sept. 11? When religion controls government, then government controls religion. Then those in government feel justified in imposing their religious beliefs on all people no matter the means.

    This bill will not stop abortions because they will be still available in back alley offices or in other states. RU486 will become a street drug taken without the careful medical procedures needed when dealing with any drug. It will not affect any of us in this body because we have provided ourselves with a generous salary which allows us to buy medical treatment not provided by our insurance. This bill will not stop abortions but it will close clean, safe clinics which provide reproductive information and care for those who cannot afford to pay.

    I voted no because when religion controls government, government controls religion."
  • 01-03-2002 12:00 AM In reply to

    "No" Vote Explanation

    Reps. Anderson, Zelenko and Murphy made the following statement:

    "Mr. Speaker and members of the House:

    I voted 'no' on House Bill 4655 (H-1) because it would have a devastating impact on the availability of family planning services to the women and men in Michigan. Planned Parenthood, the only organization that would be affected by this legislation, serves more than 50,000 men in Michigan every year. With this legislation Michigan will lose the additional Title X funds that Planned Parenthood secured by offering services to women and men above and beyond their contracted amount. This bill will restrict access to vital health care services, such as cervical and breast cancer screening, testing for HIV and sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy testing and counseling and community education. Supporters believe that this bill will prevent state and federal dollars from supporting abortion activities. However, it is already against federal and state law to use any family planning funds for abortion or to engage in advocating for abortion. This bill serves to de-fund Planned Parenthood, the operator of 31 family planning clinics in Michigan. In fact, two local health departments have contracted with Planned Parenthood to provide the county's family planning programs because the State could not sustain the program. Without Planned Parenthood, many counties will not have qualified providers to run family planning programs, increasing unplanned pregnancies."
  • 05-29-2002 12:00 AM In reply to

    Journal Statement by Senator Peters

    I just wanted to respond briefly to the Senator from the 26th District, who once again brought up the issue of taxpayer dollars and that this bill is related to taxpayer dollars and the access to legal abortions. We need to be very, very clear that this bill is not about taxpayer dollars and how they are spent. Funds for family planning are already prohibited from being used for abortions, and that's both state and federal audits, which are also very clear in ensuring that there's no co-mingling of funds so that those dollars are not used to provide abortion services.

    The ironic thing about those who are supporting this bill is that it may actually increase the number of abortions. Without access to care, without access to thoughtful family planning, unwanted pregnancies may very well increase. The fact is that this bill will place women's overall health at risk. We need to be conscious of the fact that 42 percent of uninsured people now already have no regular source of care, no access to care that they need, and they often have to seek out an emergency room for some of their basic care. In fact, 1 in 10 individuals in Michigan have limited access to any health care whatsoever.

    The proper health care is not about whether or not someone supports or opposes abortion. It's about ensuring that all women, including low-income women have access to quality care. This bill, without question, is playing a game of risky politics at the expense of women just because some powerful special interest group is in denial about Roe v. Wade. Women's health should not be placed in jeopardy for the sake of politics.

    I urge my colleagues to vote "no" on this bill. If you don't vote "no" on this bill, I urge you to deny immediate effect, so those clinics that are now providing needed services to women across this state can continue to do that with the budgets in place for as long as possible and can make the proper planning they need to do so that they can continue to provide that health service for years to come. So please vote "no" on this bill. If you cannot vote "no," then please vote "no" on immediate effect.
  • 05-29-2002 12:00 AM In reply to

    Journal Statement

    Senator Schwarz's statement, in which Senator Johnson concurred, is as follows:

    House Bill No. 4655 represents an attempt to deny federal Title X funds to 60,000 women and a few men for birth control counseling, prescription and nonprescription methods, including family planning; yearly gynecological checkups, including breast exams and Pap tests; pregnancy testing and counseling with referrals for prenatal care; testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, HIV and AIDS testing and counseling; services for women in midlife, including hormone replacement therapy; and laboratory screening for high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, and other conditions. Further, the bill would divert the funds instead to organizations philosophically in tune with the organization which undeniably owns this bill.

    All people are free to hold an opinion on this issue according to their own religious, ethical, and moral beliefs. That fact is not now, nor has it ever been, an issue. It is a matter of personal choice.

    The real issue is that this clearly and blatantly subverts the law of the land. It is another instance where a group, predominantly men--and I say this as someone who has delivered hundreds of babies; some under the most primitive conditions in the world, and have done my very, very best to make sure the baby and the mother did well. In this instance, a group, predominantly men, tell women what their reproductive rights are; that they know best. And one political party professes to wonder why women, angry women, are leaving it in droves.
  • 05-29-2002 12:00 AM In reply to

    Journal Statement

    Senator Smith's statement, in which Senator Scott concurred, is as follows:

    Now we've heard a lot about the impact of Jim Crow to health care and to abortions. I want this body to understand that probably only one member has been impacted by Jim Crow laws in the United States, and that's me. When I was two years old living in Columbia, South Carolina, my identical twin sister caught her dress on fire and because the family was black, we could not get an ambulance to take her to the hospital, and she died. Don't talk to me about Jim Crow. Don't use that to make any kind of comparison to what's happening here. Abortions in the United States are safe, they are rare, and they are constitutional. They are declining in number year after year because planned parenthood works carefully in family planning issues with young and middle-aged women and because they use their own dollars to make sure women get the information they need to make wise choices about their reproductive health.

    Planned Parenthood of Mid-Michigan is not the enemy here. Taking dollars away from an organization that makes certain that young women and middle-aged women have the care they need through their pregnancies to deliver healthy babies is what they are about. And what they deserve is to continue to do that without having to jump through additional hoops because you've got an agenda that this bill does not address. I urge my colleagues to defeat this bill.
  • 05-29-2002 12:00 AM In reply to

    Journal Statement by Senator Scott

    Senator Scott's first statement is as follows:

    I rise to support Senator Smith's amendment. You know, we continue to debate this about abortions. It's about giving some access to young women and men who need this information. So I would hope that my colleagues would certainly vote for this amendment.

    It is important that we give information; that is what's wrong now is that we don't give enough information out. It's always after the fact, and then we say, "Oh, I'm sorry we should have done this."

    I heard one of my colleagues yesterday go all the way back to slavery time and said it was wrong. Well, you'll find out later in life that this is wrong, and you need to support the Smith amendment.



    Senator Scott's second statement is as follows:

    I hope my colleagues will just really think about what we're doing here today.

    We keep talking about saving the unborn baby. But what about the prevention that this bill really does, and then we wouldn't have to worry about the pregnancies, or for those who are pregnant, that they would be able to get some help. That's what it's really all about. But whenever we talk about prevention, nobody wants to hear about it. It's only after the fact. Then when the babies are born, we don't really seem to care that much about them. That's because we don't put our monies where our mouths are at that time.

    I would hope that we would defeat this bill, and know what it's really about--not just organizations. It's about what this organization does, and it's pitting one against the other, which is wrong. It was said earlier that there's a lot of men who are involved in an organization who care about women. Well, if you do care about them, then I would suggest that we defeat this bill.

    It's about prevention. This is an organization that you're talking about that you don't want to include. It's an organization that has been around for many years that has helped so many people. I would hope that we would defeat this bill.
  • 05-29-2002 12:00 AM In reply to

    Journal Statement by Senator Byrum

    I, too, rise in opposition to the bill before us. I, for one, as a Senator representing the 25th District, am not going to stand here and allow the debate to be framed as that of an abortion debate. This is not about abortion. This is about access to basic preventative health care for a large number of individuals in this state. This is an access bill. This is a bill that is trying to divert funding from clinics that we know provide a valuable health service to a lot of citizens in this state--7,000 in my county alone. Those are residents of this county who the public health department does not see, does not have the capacity to see, and are part of the health care delivery of this community. I would submit to the body that having effective family planning services, preventing pregnancy, is something that we should all be able to agree upon is a good public health interest. Planned parenthood is about preventing unwanted pregnancies. It is about giving adequate, accurate information to individuals, and it is about accessing primary health care. This is not about abortion, and the abortion debate should be left for another day. This is about limiting access to health care for citizens who depend upon clinics such as planned parenthood to give them access to help. I would urge defeat of the bill.
  • 05-29-2002 12:00 AM In reply to

    Journal Statement by Senator Hart

    For all my 20 years in the Legislature, I have voted consistently for Right to Life--99.9 percent of the time--but somehow I just can't do it again, not on this issue. Tampering with the allocation for family planning does not make sense. These family planning programs that are being targeted to help with low-income and uninsured women, and they provide safety and security. These programs help to detect cervical cancer, breast cancer, and sexually transmitted diseases. Women who aren't pregnant use this program to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Pregnant women use these programs to help with prenatal and other obstetrical care. Having healthy women means having healthy children. Safe women means safe children.

    This bill places in jeopardy good family planning programs simply because we don't support one legal practice that they provide information for upon request. People do have the right to seek out options, and that's what this is all about. No matter what they are, they still have that option. Sacrificing women's access to quality and safe health care is appalling and inhumane. For these reasons, I oppose the bill.
  • 05-29-2002 12:00 AM In reply to

    Journal Statement by Senator Gast

    Well, I don't think anybody in this chamber can honestly say they're in favor of abortion. Certainly, I am not, but I voted against this bill.

    It's not about abortion. It's about preventing abortion, primarily the funding for planned parenthood. This that we voted on today is more about sharpening the ax for a litmus test: "I'm more for Right to Life than you are, therefore, I deserve your support. You should vote for me." That's what this is mostly about.

    We bring it up every year before election to make that point. I say that from a personal experience I've had where I've been about 95 percent in favor of pro-life, against abortion, and because I'm not 101 percent, I don't get your endorsement. Somebody else will. To me, that just ticks me off. You've got to be absolutely 100 percent pure, or you're no damn good at all. I don't subscribe to those kind of threats. That's why I voted "no."
  • 05-29-2002 12:00 AM In reply to

    Journal Statement by Senator Gougeon

    This bill is merely a priority bill. The argument that has been brought forward that somehow because we're setting a priority on where these funds go means that we are eliminating services to people in need, especially men who seek these reproductive services, I assume, to get their tubes tied. Is that correct, good doctor? The fact of the matter is that this scare tactic that federal dollars are somehow going to disappear because we're setting a priority and that some other clinic may be awarded the funds that aren't qualified to treat people, and therefore, receive federal dollars is a myth, a scare tactic.

    The issue that I want to deal with is why this bill and why do we keep having bills dealing with abortion and abortion rights. I guess I want to present a few comments on the other side about why we keep fighting. They say one side is going to lose all the female vote because the other side doesn't value the reproductive rights of women, but I will tell you that this side values human life. That's why we keep doing it. One side says that an unborn child is simply a piece of meat to be dispensed at the will of the mother and the doctor who's attending her. The other side says that it's human life from the time of conception. We value human life from the time of conception. That's why we keep fighting.

    One side says that Roe v. Wade is the law of the land, and therefore, why don't you get with it and just simply give up and obey the law you swore to obey? Why don't you just get with it and do it? And this side says that Roe v. Wade violates the civil rights of an unborn child.

    Every day we pick up the newspaper and see the Jim Crow laws that children in this state and in this nation live with: Kill them any time you want. Take their life; it's OK. And we'll do it by virtually vacuuming their brains out as an instrument of death. How would you like to live with that? We refuse to live with that! That's why we keep fighting every day. And there are more bills out there today to continue the fight. We won't give up.

    Is the Supreme Court of the United States infallible? The representative from Wayne County mentioned just a while ago about the Dred Scott decision. You go chase a person anywhere you want and bring them back, and subsequently, the test of time has proven they were wrong.

    The Supreme Court of the United States in their majesty said that we could intern Japanese Americans during World War II. Forget about the Italians. Forget about the German Americans. But we could intern the Japanese Americans. They upheld that as the law of the land. That was the law; go ahead and do it.

    Roe v. Wade has never been codified. It is not the law of the people of this land. It is the law of nine justices who imposed the law on us because they don't have the same value for human life that we do. So we'll continue the fight to value human life. That's what it's about. That's the bottom line--this bill and every bill that we will bring. We will not stop fighting.

    Martin Luther King never stopped fighting for civil rights for his people. He was whipped. They sent the dogs out after him in Selma, Alabama, but he kept up the good fight. Finally, they won with the civil rights bills that President Kennedy and President Johnson worked on.

    They just didn't go far enough. They didn't extend the civil rights to an unborn child who has a unique DNA and is a unique person in all of this world--47 million have been disposed of. They would have been adults by now. They may have served in this very chamber. They may have been the children who watch us work every day, but they're gone. Who is here to speak for them? Should we shut up because Roe v. Wade is the law of the land and never bring a bill again? Just shut up. When are you going to get it? It's the law of the land, so shut up and just do it. Watch every day as more unborn children have their brains vacuumed out as an instrument of death, and we can't do a thing about it. We'll go on, and I will tell you now--there will be many of us who will continue the fight today, tomorrow, and forever. This fight will never be done as long as this nation and this state is divided on the issue of valuing human life.
  • 05-29-2002 12:00 AM In reply to

    Journal Statement by Senator Shugars

    I rise in opposition to this amendment. I find it interesting that we start talking about quality of health care for women, and I just want to read a few things that I received on my fax this morning that's with one of the planned parenthood clinics in the state of Michigan. It's titled, "Caring for Yourself After an Abortion," and it goes on and tells you the normal side effects from bleeding to discharge to cramps and those type of things. But it closes this way--and this is the quality of health care we supposedly want--"If you have a problem side effect, please call us. Do not go to the emergency room unless we tell you to. We are available 24 hours a day," and then it goes on to list the times and the phone numbers. I find it very interesting that if a women is experiencing extreme bleeding, they tell them don't go to the emergency room, but call us and we'll get back to you within some 24-hour period.

    So I urge my colleagues to vote "no" on this amendment and "yes" on the bill.
  • 05-29-2002 12:00 AM In reply to

    Journal Statement by Senator Garcia

    I don't want to belabor the debate, but while I agree with the good Senator from the 34th District, this bill is designed to prioritize how we spend state dollars. Taxpayers don't want state dollars going directly or indirectly to help with abortions. We should start spending our health care dollars with those organizations or clinics or health care facilities that don't advocate abortion--plain and simple. We've heard this morning one speaker said this is about abortion, and the other speaker said this is not about abortion. Whatever the case is, it's really about spending state dollars, how we prioritize, and where we begin to do that. Once again, it does not limit access to health care dollars.
  • 05-29-2002 12:00 AM In reply to

    Journal Statement by Senator Van Regenmorter

    A lot has been said and a lot of information has been put forward, and I don't want to take the body's time more than to briefly state that Roe v. Wade has been mentioned a number of times and has been given a position of importance that it may not deserve as it relates to this particular issue, which is specifically our state attempting through funding mechanism to protect the life of unborn children.

    There are some cases that followed Roe v. Wade, which do something to explain them. Two of them come to mind. One is Webster v. Reproductive Health Services, and the other is Planned Parenthood v. Casey, both are prodigies of Roe v. Wade. In Casey, the U.S. Supreme Court explained, in part, Roe v. Wade, and it's rather interesting. I'm going to give you one quote from Casey. It deals directly with what we're doing, and it seems to me it authorizes and almost blesses it. It's the U.S. Supreme Court in Casey explaining Roe relative to the ability to pass laws restricting abortion rights, and here's what they say: "This, too, we find consistent with Roe's central premises, and indeed, the inevitable consequence of our holding that the state has an interest in protecting the life of the unborn." And that is what the state is doing with this bill.
  • 05-29-2002 12:00 AM In reply to

    Journal Statement by Senator Smith

    Senator Smith's first statement is as follows:

    This is the amendment that I offered yesterday on General Orders, and this amendment would require that an entity replacing a planned parenthood clinic cover the same geographical area that the planned parenthood clinic is currently serving. The reason for that is that it will be cost effective if we have one replacing one instead of seven entities or fewer replacing one. We won't be duplicating the administrative overhead expenses. And as an example, yesterday I cited the Planned Parenthood of Mid-Michigan affiliate which covers the cities of Ann Arbor, Brighton, Jackson, Lenawee County, and other communities. These facilities provide more care for women, children, and men in every realm of health care and family planning. They spend no federal or state dollars on abortion services, and what this amendment does is make sure that should they be replaced by a preferred provider, the preferred provider would have to cover the same territory.

    It would be a shame for women to lose their gynecological care, their obstetric care in the course of treatment for pregnancy because we lose the services, and we lose them with an immediate effect. I urge my colleagues to support the amendment.



    Senator Smith's second statement is as follows:

    There is language in the bill dealing with geographical areas, but what my amendment would say is that you have to have one entity serving the same geographical area if you were replacing one entity currently serving that geographical area, and that is not what this legislation currently does. Again, what the legislation that is in place before us does without the amendment would allow the department to choose five, seven, or ten providers to provide the same service that one facility is currently doing, and it would increase the administrative cost and reduce the dollars available for health care.

    It just makes sense to use our dollars cost effectively, particularly in a time when we are facing a lowering of services in Medicaid because we have fewer dollars and fewer providers. This is not the time to be creating multiplicities of administrations that swallow up federal and state dollars and reduce services to people. I urge my colleagues to support the amendment.



    Senator Smith's third statement is as follows:

    The comment from the Senator from the 21st District was totally irrelevant to the amendment or to the issue before us. The issue before us is family planning dollars and whether or not the planned parenthood affiliates of the state of Michigan would be entitled to be one of the preferred providers in the state of Michigan or whether they would be sublimated to other entities.

    The question before this chamber is should we take one of very few agencies that qualify for federal Title X coverage that have had audited contracts with the state and federal government for this money for family planning for years; should we take the most qualified facilities that are giving health care and family planning services to women and men in the state of Michigan and say, well, we'll probably end up giving you those dollars. But we're gonna put you through a number of hoops, and we're gonna make sure that you're going to be delayed in that funding process for a number of months until we've given everybody who might want to apply a chance to apply? And then determine their qualifications for service and then rule them out. Then three or four months into the budget year we're gonna give you the dollars to do the job.

    In the meantime, hundreds of women have lost quality obstetric care, women have lost gynecological care, and men have lost consulting services for their reproductive and family planning difficulties--children who see people at the planned parenthood clinics because sometimes they are the only facilities that will see the children--are out of luck, out of service, and without a provider because we want to get into a political squabble on the floor of the Michigan Senate and the House about whether or not we have the opportunity to delay funding and make lives difficult in the state. I urge my colleagues to support the amendment.



    Senator Smith's fourth statement is as follows:

    To the Senator from the 34th District, I think you misunderstood what I said, and maybe I didn't state it clearly enough. I stated that the services that are currently being provided by the planned parenthood affiliates are being provided because no other entity steps forward to do that. As a matter of fact, the reason why Planned Parenthood of Mid-Michigan is in so many areas is because not even the local county health department would accept the responsibility, and that's because the state government does not reimburse the 70 percent that people anticipate getting from state government, but much less. Instead of receiving $90.00 of state money for family planning services, the clinics and the entities providing the family planning services get $70.00. Nobody's going to come out there, and we're willing to take a loss for the state of Michigan. Over and over again we find this to be true.

    If we delay, if we set up this pecking order that people have to wait while we are getting a determination on whether applicants are indeed certifiable under Title X and then they are denied, people are still waiting for services. We deny access, and I don't see anything inconsistent with the argument I put forward. This amendment deals with replacing one provider with another provider that covers the same territory. This amendment is designed to save the state money because we will be paying multi-providers administrative costs and delivering fewer services. We're currently today providing administrative costs of one provider, and we would be spending money for five, seven, or more. It's a cost-effective use of our money in very hard economic times. I urge my colleagues to support the amendment.
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