Michigan Bill Regarding Heartbeat Ban Penalty Provision (HB 5644)
This law was last updated on Jul 7, 2014
HB 5644 would have prohibited a physician from performing an abortion on a pregnant woman who is carrying a fetus whose heartbeat has been detected in the test required under HB 5643.
The bill states that it would not be a violation of the heartbeat ban if:
- In the physician’s reasonable judgment, the abortion is necessary to save the life of the mother, in which case the physician must declare in writing under penalty of perjury that the abortion is necessary and must place the written declaration in the woman’s medical record;
- The physician has performed an examination for the presence of a fetal heartbeat using standard medical practice and the examination did not reveal a fetal heartbeat; or
- The physician has been informed by another physician who has performed the examination for a fetal heartbeat that the examination did not reveal a fetal heartbeat.
The bill would not have prohibited the sale or use of contraceptives.
A violation of the law would have been a felony and would have carried with it a prison sentence of no more than four years and a fine of no more than $50,000.
A fetal heartbeat can be detected as early as six weeks of pregnancy—two weeks after a woman’s first missed period—and well before many women even realize that they are pregnant.
This bill was tie-barred with HB 5643 and HB 5645. (“Tie bar” is a device to condition the effectiveness of legislation on the enactment or passage of other specified legislation. In other words, if one bill fails, they all fail.) They all failed.