Michigan’s legislature approved an extra insurance fee for abortions Wednesday, making it the 24th state to ban most coverage of safe abortion care in the new insurance exchanges. It prohibits insurance companies from offering abortion coverage in both public and private health plans, except when the woman’s life is at risk, and requires employers and individuals who want coverage to buy extra policies.
“This body made up of 80 percent men will make a decision that will impact 100 percent of women,” said state representative David Knezek (D-Dearborn Heights).
The anti-choice group Right to Life collected enough petition signatures to bring the measure to the legislature, even though Governor Rick Snyder had already vetoed a similar measure last year because it was too extreme. State senators voted 27-11 and representatives voted 62-47, largely along party lines, to pass the “Abortion Insurance Opt-Out Act” using a special measure to make it veto-proof. It will become law 90 days after the current session ends.
The act will have the largest effect on private insurers because federal funds are already restricted when it comes to paying for abortions. Low-income women using Medicaid already must pay for often expensive abortion care themselves.
Media Resources: RH Reality Check 12/11/13; Feminist Newswire 12/6/13; Associated Press 12/12/13; Reuters 12/11/13