During this edition of A Public Affair, on Tuesday December 11th, we turned our attention to Michigan and the ongoing unrest in the state. During the first half of the hour, host Cynthia Lin interviewed Liz Rodriguez, communications chair of the Graduate Employees Organization at UMich, who helped organize resistance to the anti-union “Right to Work” Bill. For the second half of the hour, Cynthia spoke to Meghan Hodge Groen, Director of Government Relations and Political Fundraising at Planned Parenthood, about the attacks on women’s rights that are going on in Michigan at the same time.
According to the Chicago Tribune, “LANSING, Mich. — Michigan enacted a ban on mandatory union membership on Tuesday, dealing a stunning blow to organized labor in the state that is home to U.S. automakers and the symbol of industrial labor in the United States. As more than 12,000 unionized workers and supporters protested at the Capitol in Lansing, the Republican-led state House of Representatives gave final approval to a pair of “right-to-work” bills covering public- and private-sector unions.”
Read the entire Tribune article:
The “right-to-work bills were not the only legislation which brought protests to the Capitol in Lansing. Planned Parenthood Advocates also fought against House Bill 5711. According to the Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan website, “Extremist legislators have launched the most dangerous and sweeping attacks on women’s health in our state’s history. If passed, these bills would have a devastating impact on women’s reproductive health and access to abortion services in the state.
As this year’s legislative session comes to a close anti-women’s health lawmakers are trying to push through dangerous, onerous and outrageous policy initiatives which include efforts to:
Regulate women’s health centers out of existence. (HB 5711)
Limit abortion access for women in rural areas. (HB 5711)
Prevent private insurance companies from covering any abortion services. (SBs 612, 613, 614)
Allow providers to deny any health care service they deem objectionable. (SB 975)”
Read more about the Planned Parenthood resistance to HB 5711:
Listen to the entire program: