Almost every day, providers at Planned Parenthood of Michigan see people who’ve traveled long distances to get the care they need. Most of them have traveled here from out-of-state, but many of them are Michiganders who – despite the right to reproductive freedom being enshrined in our state constitution – are still being forced to overcome difficult, and sometimes insurmountable, barriers to care because of outdated laws still on our books. And it’s long past time we do something about it.
These harmful laws are commonly called TRAP laws – Targeted Regulations of Abortion Providers – because they explicitly target sexual and reproductive health care providers with excessive and unnecessary regulations designed to shut them down.
To be clear: these laws do nothing to enhance safety or to protect patients. They were written by politicians to deliberately block or severely restrict access to abortion in Michigan – and they’re working.
Michigan’s TRAP laws require abortion providers to essentially construct mini-hospitals, with regulations dictating everything from hallway widths, to ceiling heights, restroom sizes, and HVAC systems. These medically-irrelevant regulations create inflated financial burdens and logistical hurdles that limit providers’ ability to care for the people who rely on them. And they intentionally make it difficult for providers to build new health centers and expand into areas where they are needed most.
In addition to these TRAP laws, Michigan’s law books are still riddled with abortion restrictions that directly target patients. For instance, Michigan mandates a 24-hour delay for abortion appointments, with arbitrary and burdensome requirements that many patients struggle to meet. Making the simplest of mistakes – like printing a form one hour later than legally allowed – can exponentially increase the cost of accessing care by forcing patients to take additional days off work, and to pay for hotel stays, childcare, and more.
When Michiganders turned out in record numbers to vote for Prop 3 last November, this is not the future they envisioned.
The state legislature must listen to the will of the people and repeal Michigan’s outdated and unconstitutional laws restricting access to abortion and ensure that abortion is treated like all other health care, with appropriate regulations that reflect current medical standards.
Contact your legislator today and tell them it’s time to finish the job.