HILLSDALE COUNTY, Mich. (WLNS) — Heather Tritchka, the vice president of Hillsdale County’s Right to Life chapter- went around Hillsdale city with her daughter, asking community members to sign a petition outlawing abortion practices.
“Within a matter of days I had about 400 signatures of people who were interested,” said Tritchka.
Hillsdale county’s Right to Life is proposing an ordinance to ban abortion clinics from being established in the city of Hillsdale, prohibiting abortions and the distribution of abortion-inducing drugs in the city.
Tritchka says it would even ban the mailing of abortion pills into the city.
If providers were to violate the ordinance, they could face potential lawsuits, fines and jail time.
“If Amazon, for instance, was mailing these out you can have a suit against Amazon or if any abortion providers were the ones mailing this you could contact them and say ‘we have an ordinance you can’t mail to this area’.”
The legislation was proposed at a Hillsdale City Council meeting.
“We had the City Council meeting where it was introduced, everyone has a copy of it, they’re all reading it, it’s gone to something called ONG where they look at the wording, see if there are anything they don’t understand, they want to talk to the authors of the ordinance, then they can ask those questions…then this ONG team brings it back to council then they set a date at that council meeting, when they are going to hear it, and then there’s the vote”, said Tritchka.
As it stands, the ordinance is still in the presentation stage, but a vote could take place in the future.
There has been a wave of backlash following the bill’s introduction.
“There’s a lot of things open to misrepresentation, and that is not something you want when you discuss a topic that can affect so many”, said Kathyrn Watkins, a Hillsdale who launched a Change.org petition against the ordinance.
Watkins is a mother of four who firmly stands by “your body, your choice”, additionally, Watkins organized a protest outside of the City Council meeting this week.
Watkins finds the ordinance concerning because she says the language of the proposition could allow anyone to be fined for helping people with abortions.
While the city of Hillsdale doesn’t have abortion clinics; they do have hospitals with OB/GYNs.
“The proposal in itself was limiting even misoprostol which as someone who is a mother of 3 children and two of them I was induced they use misoprostol at Hillsdale hospital as part of the induction. So, it’s going to create this really limiting situation where these doctors don’t know what they’re allowed to do and what they’re not allowed to do.”
Watkins’ ultimate goal is to educate the community on what she believes is happening.
“We’re going to continue fighting that because we’re not okay with that”, said Watkins.
The vote on the abortion ordinance will take place at the next city council meeting on August 16th.