Memo to Michigan: Did You Not Hear the Voters on Women's Health?

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The Huffington Post

Memo to Michigan: Did You Not Hear the Voters on Women's Health?

An alarming set of bills is about to move to Michigan Governor Rick Snyder's desk as soon as today. Pushed through by lame-duck legislators who are about to leave office, these bills would make Michigan one of the most regressive states in the nation on women's health.

If Governor Snyder signs these bills, women in Michigan would lose access to safe and legal abortion -- and a range of other health services.

One bill would likely shut down many health care providers that provide abortion by enacting unnecessary and burdensome licensing rules. Another would ban all insurance coverage for abortion. And one of the bills would allow medical providers to refuse to provide any medical service -- from birth control to blood transfusions.

Just a month ago, voters in Michigan and across the country sent a clear message that they don't want politicians to meddle in women's personal health care decisions.

Candidates who won advocated for broad access to contraception, supported access to safe and legal abortion, and vowed to respect women's personal health care decisions. Candidates who advocated for laws like the ones advancing in Michigan lost.

The message could not have been clearer, but some politicians in Michigan didn't get it.

Indeed, several of the legislators in Michigan who are advocating the hardest for these bills were voted out of office. They're trying to pass these extreme bills on their way out the door -- and they just might succeed.

Now it's up to Governor Snyder to do what the vast majority of Michigan voters want. He can veto these dangerous and extreme bills -- and he must veto them.

Women -- and the men who love them -- are counting on the governor to heed the message sent on election night: we simply will not tolerate politicians inserting themselves into a woman's personal health care decisions.

On these final days of the state legislative session, the governor should stand with Michigan women and families and veto the anti-women's health bills.

Cecile Richards

Cecile Richards is president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, PPFA's political arm. Cecile writes about election issues as the president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. She is a leader in national progressive politics with more than 20 years of experience working on behalf of reproductive freedom and social justice.

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