All About Michigan's Reproductive Health Care Act (RHA)

Reproductive health champions in the Michigan legislature have announced ground-breaking legislation that would ensure all Michiganders can make personal decisions regarding their health and pregnancies without interference from anti-choice politicians.

Check out our RHA Q&A to learn more about what this legislation would mean for Michigan and how you can take action.

What is the Reproductive Health Act?

The Reproductive Health Act (RHA) ensures access to safe, legal abortion in Michigan. It guarantees that people are free to make their own medical decisions without certain politicians interfering while repealing dozens of Michigan’s outdated abortion laws.

What does the Reproductive Health Act do?

The RHA protects all individual decision-making in the area of reproductive health. This includes decisions about reproductive health care, like:

  • Deciding to use or refuse contraception (birth control) or sterilization.

  • Deciding what type of birth control to use, if any.

  • If pregnant, deciding to give birth or have an abortion.

The bill also repeals and updates Michigan’s outdated and unconstitutional laws restricting access to abortion so that it is treated like all health care, with regulations that reflect current medical standards. The RHA:

  • Repeals Michigan’s unconstitutional 1931 law that bans virtually all abortions.

  • Removes medically inappropriate regulations requiring facilities that provide abortions to be licensed as freestanding surgical outpatient facilities.

  • Increases privacy and safety for minors seeking an abortion by removing the parental consent requirement.

  • Removes barriers to state and federal funding for health care entities that also provide abortion care.

  • Repeals laws that require patients seeking abortion care to receive biased, medically inaccurate information.

  • Lifts restriction on abortion care that forced patients to undergo a state-mandated 24 hour waiting period, ensuring they can get the care they need without undue delay.

  • Codifies current standards of medical practice on who can perform abortions.

  • Prohibits criminal punishment of pregnant people for actions they take during pregnancy that would not otherwise be made criminal or punishable.

  • Lifts the ban on private insurance coverage for abortion care.

  • Removes unnecessary barriers to accessing abortion via telemedicine.

What other states have enacted Reproductive Health Acts?

In the last few years, RHA bills have been introduced in Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, Oregon, Texas, Vermont and Rhode Island. Rhode Island, Vermont, Illinois, New York and Oregon have passed RHA bills into law.

Besides protecting reproductive health decisions, what else does the RHA do?

The RHA ensures abortion care is treated like all health care, with regulations that reflect current medical standards by repealing and updating Michigan’s outdated and unconstitutional laws restricting access to abortion.

Why do abortion restrictions need to be repealed?

State legislatures, including Michigan’s, have passed nearly 500 abortion restrictions in recent years. More than 250 bills restricting abortion have been introduced in state legislatures in 2019 alone. These dangerous restrictions block patients from getting the care they need.

Why should I care?

Everyone’s circumstances are different, and everyone should be able to make the decision that’s right for them. We have all had to make complex and deeply personal decisions that determine the direction of our lives. For some, that means deciding to end or continue a pregnancy.

We can’t know a person’s circumstances or the factors that go into their decision-making; we’re not in their shoes. But we do know that such decisions must be left to each individual, based on the advice of the health care professionals they trust, their personal values, and what they feel is best for themselves and their family.

Why do we need this now?

Because of ongoing and imminent threats to abortion nationally and in Michigan, this legislation is needed now more than ever to ensure that our reproductive rights are protected no matter what happens to Roe v. Wade.

How can I take action?

Contact your representative, encourage them to support the RHA, and let them know you will hold them accountable if they refuse to act.

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