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Michigan bill allows 16-year-olds to donate blood | Community Spirit

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Michigan bill allows 16-year-olds to donate blood
Michigan bill allows 16-year-olds to donate blood

COOPERSVILLE, Mich. - State lawmakers this week approved legislation to lower the age for donating blood.

The new law will allow 16-year-olds to donate with their parent's consent.

The bill was approved Wednesday by an 88-3 vote in the House and a unanimous vote in the Senate. It now goes to Gov. Jennifer Granholm who is expected to sign by April.

"It's a big deal, been working on this for a long time," said State Senator Wayne Kuipers.

Kuipers spearheaded the effort back in 2007 by introducing "Jenna's Law," a bill named after his daughter who was denied donating because she was too young.

Eventually, after a bi-partisan effort, the language was pushed through.

"As long as your healthy and you want to give, I don't see why you can't at sixteen," said Jenna Kuipers. "I was kind of upset that I wasn't able to give."

Michigan is the 40th state to lower the age to 16 and it's expected to make a big splash. Health officials estimate blood collections at high schools to rise by nearly 20%.

Current law allows 17-year-olds to donate blood without a parent's consent but it does not allow anyone younger to donate.

High school blood donations are expected to jump from 12% to 15% of the total blood donated in the state.

"Its good that its finally happening, good things are going to come out of it," Jenna said.