A new law just took effect in Georgia that bans coverage of abortion in health plans purchased in the state health insurance marketplace created under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). These health insurance policies can now only cover abortion “in the case of medical emergency,” but not in cases of incest or rape.
The law, called the “Federal Abortion Mandate Opt-Out Act,” was signed by Georgia Governor Nathan Deal in April. Two state senate democrats and all state senate republicans voted in favor of the bill. At least 672,000 state health insurance plan members and dependents have insurance that is now affected by this newly active law.
“I’m furious. And I think every woman and enlightened gentleman in Georgia should be infuriated,” State Representative Pat Gardner said when the restrictions were passed. “This is a decision for a family and their doctor, not for a governor to make.”
Georgia is now the 25th state to ban abortion coverage in private insurance plans bought through state health insurance marketplaces. The state had already had in place an administrative ban on abortion coverage for state employees. The new law makes that ban permanent and extends it to anyone who purchases private insurance through the marketplace.
Media Resources: RH Reality Check 7/7/2014; Guttmacher Institute 7/1/2014; Feminist Majority Foundation blog 8/9/2013; ajc.com 8/8/2013; Georgia General Assembly