Women will have to wait 24 hours before obtaining an abortion under a compromise that Gov. John Engler (R) signed today.
The state legislature passed a law in 1993 requiring a waiting period for an abortion, but a lawsuit attempting to overturn the law had prevented it from taking effect.
The state and a coalition of more than 20 abortion clinics agreed to a settlement that requires clinics to give women written material about abortion at least 24 hours before the procedure is performed. The materials discuss the risks and complications of abortion and show detailed drawings of the development of a fetus.
"It's been six long years, and this is getting actual information to women. This information doesn't sway people one way or the other," said Geralyn Lasher, a spokesman for the Department of Community Health.
Under the settlement, a doctor who performs an abortion without a waiting period can be charged with a misdemeanor unless the abortion meets the federal definition of a medical emergency.
The settlement allows the reading materials to be sent by mail, fax or electronic mail. Abortion clinics wanted that change to prevent women from having to travel twice to an abortion clinic.
Engler already had signed the law, which will go into effect in 90 days. A federal judge was expected to approve the settlement Tuesday.