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Politics & Government
From our State Capitol in Lansing to the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC, WKAR is committed to explaining how the actions of lawmakers are affecting Michiganders. Political and government reporter Abigail Censky leads this section. There are also stories from Capitol correspondents Cheyna Roth, Rick Pluta and the Associated Press. As the 2020 presidential race begins, look here for reports on the role Michigan will play in electing or re-electing the president.

Michigan Lawmakers Introduce 20-Week Abortion Ban

Michigan lawmakers will return to session to pass a multibillion-dollar plan to resolve the deficit caused by the coronavirus shutdown — with a mix of spending cuts, a drawdown of the state’s savings and a big influx of federal rescue aid.
Reginald Hardwick

Some Republican lawmakers in Lansing want to shorten the time period when a pregnant woman can get an abortion. A bill in the Senate would make it a felony to perform abortions after 20 weeks of the probable conception.

Many healthcare professionals use a different timeline for determining the “age” of a fetus.

They start counting from the time of the woman’s last menstrual period. Using that metric, the bill would actually ban abortions at around 22 weeks.

Republican Senator Curtis VanderWall is a bill sponsor. He said the bills do contain an exception:

“If the mother’s life is in jeopardy and the doctors and she come to a consensus it’s the best decision to be made, for the life of the mother that child can be taken,” said Sen. VanderWall.

Democratic Senator Erika Geiss said the legislation is unnecessary. In part because a majority of abortions past 20-weeks are because of complications.

“And we as legislators should not be disrupting the process of the patient-physician conversation,” said Sen. Geiss.

If passed, the punishment for a doctor performing an abortion past 20-weeks of probable fertilization would be up to 15 years in prison.

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