News from Progress Michigan

August 27, 2019

Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574,

Don’t be Mistaken: Senate Bill 393 is a backdoor abortion ban

Bill undermines people’s reproductive healthcare and denies them control of their bodies 

MICHIGAN – This week, Sen. Tom Barrett introduced a bill making it legal to claim a 12-week-old fetus as a dependent in order to get an income tax deduction. In reality, this bill is an attack on reproductive health care disguised as a tax deduction.

Imposing “personhood” on fetuses is an age-old tactic to bar patients and medical providers from making critical decisions for themselves. Prior bills introduced in Michigan and other states have tried to establish personhood in a number of underhanded ways. This fake tax deduction bill is just the latest in an ongoing strategy to deny Michiganders their Constitutional right to an abortion.

When shady bills that introduce personhood pass, they give other elected officials a clear path to continue to chip away at abortion access with ill-intentioned legislation. A bill such as Sen. Barrett’s, which gives personhood a concrete definition — 12 weeks gestation — clears the way for attacks that limit much-needed abortion care.

“This attempt to impose personhood is both dangerous and misleading,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. “Sen. Barrett is attempting to lay the foundation to eliminate abortion. The moment we establish a state-mandated definition of personhood in contradiction to federal standards and medical science is the minute that extremist right-wing officials can make abortion a crime. We won’t stand for it.”

Sen. Barrett’s misleading bill comes as no surprise. He’s been given an official endorsement by Right to Life and introduced a fake-medicine “partial-birth abortion” ban earlier this year, even comparing the made-up procedure to his deployments in Iraq. 

The bill has been referred to committee on finance. No action has been taken yet.


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