Travel Tip: Probably Don’t Visit Michigan If You Plan On Needing an Emergency Life-Saving Abortion Any Time Soon

“The whore hospital is that way, lady.”

Apparently seeking to extend its 15 minutes as the nation’s hottest new Weirdo Conservative State You’re Glad You Don’t Live In, Michigan has followed up its controversial right-to-work law and recent tax-breaks-for-fetuses-but-not-actual-children bill with what the state GOP is calling the “conscience objection bill.”  Hmm, sounds Republican-y already and we don’t even know what it’s about yet!

And it is. Senate Bill 975, which was approved Dec. 6, was introduced by Sen. John Moolenaar (R-Midland) and co-sponsored by nearly the entire Republican caucus. The bill would allow hospitals to deny services that run contrary to the to the organization’s “conscience.” And by “conscience,” obviously they mean “religious dogma that is based entirely on what some crazy people decided thousands of years ago and has nothing to do with universal, secular notions of ethical behavior that we can all agree on regardless of religious belief” (to be fair, that would have made the bill’s name really long).

So what does this mean? Well, obviously, this is going to make access to birth control and abortion pretty inconvenient for some people, because Michigan has some desolate areas up in the northern parts (seriously, we’re from Michigan and we’ve never even been to the Upper Peninsula; just meeting someone who says they’re a Yooper is like a unicorn-sighting). And if you’re gay or lesbian, we bet you’ve already put your thinking cap on and deduced that this bill probably isn’t good news for you either, because weirdo conservative Christian laws generally tend not to be.  And you would be exactly right! Under the proposed law, if a hospital finds your gayness objectionable, it’s perfectly free to deny family planning services to you or pretty much any other medical service relating to your heathen life style.

Personally, we’re really hoping a group of Orthodox Jews move to Michigan and set up their own hospital there:

Patient:  “Yeah, I’ve just been having a lot of indigestion recently? I’ve tried Tums but it doesn’t seem to work.”

Dr. Rosenblatt:  “Interesting. And what has your diet consisted of lately?

Patient:  “Oh, you know, typical Michigan stuff.  Eggs, cheese, bacon, ham, that sort of thing. The occasional Red Lobster for date night.”

Dr. Rosenblatt:  “Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, let me stop you right there. We don’t support that kind of lifestyle here at Beth Israel – Sault Ste. Marie. Go find yourself a gastroenterologist somewhere else, buddy.”


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Photo Credit: Bugsy Sailor via Flickr

8 Responses to Travel Tip: Probably Don’t Visit Michigan If You Plan On Needing an Emergency Life-Saving Abortion Any Time Soon

  1. Barjack


    Ummm . . . we still have ann arbor . . . . (said in very small voice)

  2. Thomas Beck


    To be fair to my Orthodox Jewish landsmen, they would never insist that a non-Jew keep kosher, nor would they ever deny treatment to anyone for almost any reason. The commandments are for Jews, not for anyone else (except for the 7 so-called Noahide laws).

    • Linda (The Daily Dolt)

      Linda the Dolt


      I know, I was just making a joke. As a shiksa who attended a Jewish law school, I can confirm you are 100% correct.

      The funny thing is, I can easily say that I experienced FAR less religious pressure at my private Jewish law school (as in, none whatsoever, other than there not being any bacon for sale in the cafeteria) than I did at my public, supposedly non-affiliated high school (where there was a lot of pressure to be part of various Christian groups and to join in prayers, etc, etc).

  3. Terry Hallinan


    As a male I will probably not be requiring an emergency abortion anytime soon but has no one considered the extreme difficulty Republicans primarily will have replacing dead or dying political leaders if women and girls are allowed to abort all brainless fetuses?

    Please have some care for the needs of others.

    Best, Terry

  4. Frank da Tank


    Daily Dolt,

    First off, I love your site. Any time I need ammunition against some of my *eh-ehm* less informed conservative friends, or I just want to laugh at what the Republican party has become, I come to you guys. But some of the way you guys portray Christians is borderline mean. Make no mistake, I love poking fun at the religious right (after all, it's so easy and fun). But it is disappointing for me to see people dismiss Christian beliefs about things like abortion (just as an example) as the belief of "crazy people…thousands of years ago" that you seem to think is irrelevant to modern ethics.

    Can you see why I'm disappointed? I'm not like one of those people who interpret the Bible literally or think that every time there's a hurricane, it's God punishing us; those people are nutcases. But I think that Christianity, which does so much good in the world (e.g. The Catholic Church is the largest non-governmental provider of education and health-care facilities in the world), should have it's belief system respected even if a lot of people don't agree with them. This includes their right to deny services inconsistent with their religious beliefs.

    I believe that we have a separation of church and state in this country. This means that in addition to the government not making a law forcing people to believe in a certain religion, government should also not be allowed to compel religious institutions to act against their beliefs. This is why I support the Right of Conscience law.


    A moderate Democrat and a moderate Christian

    • Terry Hallinan


      Dear Moderate,

      What's a moderate? Seriously. Am I allowed to be serious too?

      I don't believe there is any such thing as a moderate unless you mean somebody who just goes with the flow. Hopefully you don't mean that.

      Do you mean that you would allow a woman to die while religious folk are considering whether a fetus that has no chance of a viable life kills her is fine with you? Do you mean that one should study on whether a pre-teen victim of incest should be allowed the mortal sin of murder because she was a victim? What?

      I understand where you are coming from having been raised as a Catholic but there is no room for habitation of reasonable people in the no-man's [appropriate wording since mostly men who need never fear pregnancy usually make the decisions] land separating the sides.

      There is only room for those who would rather run and hide.

      There is room for accommodation and mutual respect but that is not what you offered.

      Best, Terry

    • Linda (The Daily Dolt)

      Linda the Dolt


      Totally fair point. I shouldn't have used that particular phrase. I actually didn't mean any disrespect to religion, just that every religion has SOME aspects to it that are kind of arbitrary and not in congruence with any secular notions of ethics — for instance, kosher dietary laws or the ban on birth control. And those rules are fine within the religious community. They provide structure, a sense of tradition, etc., and people can abide by whatever rules they want to as long as they don't try to impose them on the rest of us. If a rule is going to be imposed on others, it needs to have a justification outside of religion.

      I should also say that abortion to me is not necessarily one of those issues because it does raise legitimate ethical questions outside of the religious arguments. That said, though, if a hospital is receiving government funds then I don't think it gets to impose its moral framework on its patients, particularly in the context of an emergency.

      Thanks for the well reasoned comment.