Senate approves anti-abortion bills in Michigan

By By JEFF KAROUB

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Republican-controlled Michigan Senate has passed legislation that would restrict and regulate abortion practices including requiring a health professional to screen patients to ensure they aren't being forced to end pregnancies.

The measures previously passed by the GOP-led House were approved Wednesday by a 27-10 vote. The legislation returns to the House for its final review before going to Republican Gov. Rick Snyder.

The bill package also enacts regulations related to the disposal of fetal remains. It additionally requires private medical offices to be licensed as freestanding surgical outpatient facilities if they perform at least 120 abortions annually and undergo annual state inspections.

Critics say the rules are confusing, contradictory and designed to restrict women's reproductive freedom. Supporters say they are commonsense, overdue reforms that keep women safe.

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