Rep. Reilly proposes abortion reporting law upgrades

State Rep. John Reilly, of Oakland, introduced legislation to upgrade a 1999 Michigan law designed to track injuries and deaths caused by abortion.

“The tragic death of a young woman in Battle Creek in 2016 that resulted from a failed abortion revealed a weakness in the current reporting law,” Reilly said. “Because Cree Erwin died at home, and not under immediate care of a physician, no one was technically required to report her death as a complication from abortion. This bill would update the 1999 abortion injury reporting law to require a medical examiner to report a death caused by abortion.”

Reilly cited two other factors for introducing the Citizen Accountability Act, which would allow citizens who are aware of an abortion injury to notify health providers and the state health department that an injury report should be filed.

“Compliance with the reporting law is functionally non-existent, with very few injuries ever reported,” Reilly said. “The bill will allow the triggering of injury reports without investigative efforts by the state. Citizens can prompt accountability.”

The representative further noted a 2016 U.S. Supreme Court case striking down a Texas law regulating abortion clinics, ruling that abortion injuries are so rare that the regulations were unnecessary.

“Given that Michigan’s reported abortion complications total only one-tenth of one percent of all abortions, it is clear that complications are grossly under-reported. No medical procedure has a complication rate that low.

“Abortion comes with real risks and that reality has been hidden from sight. Women deserve to know the truth about those risks,” he concluded.

House Bill 4592 was referred to the House Health Policy Committee.

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