On Tuesday, the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas and Western Missouri (ACLU) filed a lawsuit in the US District Court of Kansas City, KS challenging a new state law that prohibits private health insurance plans from covering abortion services, except when the woman’s life is endangered. Under the law, women who seek coverage for abortion services must purchase a separate rider to cover non-lifesaving abortions. Brigitte Amiri, senior staff attorney with the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project indicated that the ACLU is challenging the law on the basis that it is unconstitutional and that it discriminates on the basis of sex.
Brigitte Amiri, senior staff attorney with the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, stated, “This law is part of a nationwide trend to take away insurance coverage for a legal medical procedure that is an important part of basic health care for women. Many things can happen in a pregnancy that are beyond a woman’s control, so having insurance coverage for abortion ensures that every woman can get the health care she may need.”
According to the Guttmacher Institute, “87% of typical employer-based insurance policies in 2002 covered medically necessary or appropriate abortions.” Since 2010, thirteen states have passed laws banning private health plans that participate in public health exchanges from covering abortions.