Michigan House panel approves abortion bill package

Proposals include requiring doctor or assistant to do screening before abortion procedure, banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy

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LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan House is considering a package of bills designed to restrict and regulate abortion practices that backers consider common-sense reforms and critics say are contradictory and already covered by state laws.

A House committee on Thursday approved and recommended the bills to the full chamber a week after the legislation was introduced. Proposals include requiring a doctor or assistant to do some screening before an abortion to ensure a pregnant woman isn't being coerced and banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Another bill calls for new laws related to the disposal of fetal remains.

Doctors testified the bills are overly broad and vague, and would discourage physicians from coming to practice in Michigan.

Supporters said they protect women from unsafe and harmful facilities and practitioners.

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