Georgia Governor and anti-choice advocate, Nathanial Deal (R), has found a way to circumvent state legislators in order to pass an abortion insurance coverage ban for state employees. The Department of Community Health voted 5 to 3 (with one abstaining vote) on Thursday to pass the statewide ban for all 672,000 state health insurance plan members and dependents. The new policy bans abortion in all cases except for when the life of the mother is in jeopardy. Georgia is the eight state to pass such legislation.
Governor Deal, pleased with his bypass of the state’s legislative branch, stated the Community Health Board’s decision “shows our state’s commitment to reducing the number of abortions in our state by ensuring that state taxpayers aren’t paying for a procedure that many find morally objectionable.”
Some state lawmakers feel differently about the decision. State Representative Pat Gardner (D-Atlanta)told reporters, “I’m furious. And I think every woman and enlightened gentleman in Georgia should be infuriated. This is a decision for a family and their doctor, not for a governor to make.”
If the ban is not challenged it will take effect in January of 2014.
Media Resources: Associated Press 8/8/2013; Atlanta Journal-Constitution 8/8/13; Opposing Views 8/8/13