Michigan Legislature votes to ban abortion procedure

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) - (5/14/19) - Michigan's Republican-backed Legislature has voted to ban a common second-trimester abortion procedure, except when necessary to safe a women's life.

Supporters of the legislation say it would restrict the use of a "barbaric" procedure they call "dismemberment" abortion, a nonmedical term for dilation and evacuation. Opponents say the measures are blatantly unconstitutional and interfere with women's ability to access safe medical care.

Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer vowed Tuesday to veto the bills once they get to her desk.

The bills would prohibit physicians from performing a dilation and evacuation abortion except to save a woman's life. The procedure, which anti-abortion advocates call "dismemberment," was used in 1,777, or 6.7 percent, of abortions in Michigan in 2017.

With Whitmer expected to veto the measures if they reach her desk, Right to Life is preparing to launch an identical citizens' initiative that could be enacted by lawmakers without her signature.

Courts have blocked bans on the procedure in other states, and the issue ultimately may be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

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