Michigan bans in-state insurers from covering abortion
By Cheryl K. Chumley
The Washington Times
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Michigan state Sen. Gretchen Whitmer, the state Senate's Democratic minority leader, cited her own rape in criticizing the Republican-controlled Legislature's final approval on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013, of a bill that bans commercial insurance policies from covering abortions unless a woman buys a separate rider to include abortion services. (AP Photo/Michigan Legislature)
Michigan lawmakers passed a ban on all insurance companies in the state from paying for abortions for women unless the life of the mother is in danger and unless they’ve purchased a special rider for the coverage.
The law takes effect in March, The Huffington Post reported.
It’s called the Abortion Insurance Opt-Out Act, and supporters cheer it because they say it keeps those against the procedure from paying for it. Opponents call it the “rape insurance” measure, however, saying it would leave out those women who’ve been impregnated by a rapist from obtaining the procedure if they didn’t buy the rider before the crime occurred.
“This tells women who were raped … that they should have thought ahead and planned for it,” said state Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer in The Huffington Post. “Make no mistake, this is anything but a citizens’ initiative. It’s a special interest group’s perverted dream come true.”
The Legislature passed the bill in 2012, but it was delayed by Gov. Rick Snyder’s veto. The governor said at the time he didn’t “believe it appropriate to tell a woman who becomes pregnant due to a rape that she needed to select elective insurance coverage,” The Huffington Post said.
But the Right to Life of Michigan subsequently collected more than 300,000 signatures, and according to state law, that was enough support to force a second vote and enter the measure into law absent the governor’s support.