In no uncertain terms, the Free Press editorial board is telling Michigan Republicans they are out of line for requiring women to buy an insurance rider if they want abortion coverage, no exceptions -- not even for rape or incest.
The Free Press writes:
Besides restricting coverage for medical care to which every Michigan woman enjoys a constitutional right, the measure would make state Attorney General Bill Schuette the ultimate arbiter when insurers are reluctant to classify a pregnancy-ending event as a miscarriage. The provision designating Schuette as Michigan’s gynecologist-in-chief represents a shocking and unprecedented state intrusion into the historically confidential relationship between Michigan women and their physicians.
The Freep also opposes to the way the law was passed Wednesday, saying Republicans displayed "hypocrisy" by using a rarely used legislative maneuver to pass the bill.
Republican lawmakers have made a mockery of democratic rule on their way to trampling the rights of Michigan’s female citizens.
Because the initiative was presented to lawmakers outside the normal legislative process, it is not subject to gubernatorial veto. Barring a successful constitutional challenge, its draconian constraints on the doctor-patient relationship will become law in 90 days.
The Republican legislative leadership’s extraordinary end-run around its own governor was as unnecessary as it was cynical. There was ample opportunity for lawmakers who oppose abortion rights as a matter of conscience to refer the measure championed by Right to Life to the full electorate in 2014, when every Michigan voter participating in the selection of the next governor and Legislature would have the opportunity to weigh in on the controversial issue.
In pre-empting such a vote with their decision to bring Right to Life’s bill to the floors of their respective chambers, Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, R-Monroe, and House Speaker Jase Bolger, R-Marshall, demonstrated both their contempt for Michigan’s democratic process and a lack of confidence in their principles. The latter, at least, is well-placed. The available polling suggests that Right to Life would have difficulty mustering majority approval for the intrusive restrictions adopted by the Legislature.
Free Press anger at what happened in Lansing spills onto Facebook, where editorial page editor Stephen Henderson posts this with a link to the editorial:
The hypocritical minority in charge of Lansing is really wearing thin with me. I understand politics, I understand the consequences of elections. But I don't understand naked or excuse raw power-mongering, and I certainly don't get why legislators with good sense couldn't have just refused to do something this dumb.
Voters have got to remember this stuff next year, but the ridiculously gerrymandered map in Michigan may make it even harder to stop the right-wing carnival..