Health & Human Services

Want an Abortion in Michigan? You'll Have to Know Before Buying Insurance.

December 12, 2013
 

A controversial initiative requiring women to buy additional insurance if they want abortion coverage in their health insurance plans passed the Legislature Wednesday afternoon and will take effect 90 days after lawmakers adjourn for the year.

The issue was brought up at the same time in the House and Senate and Democrats immediately cried foul, decrying not only the bill, but that it should be an issue decided by all the state’s voters and not just the 315,477 people — about 4% of the state’s voters — who signed the Right to Life petition.

“This is a huge government overreach and Right to Life went too far again,” said state Rep. Marcia Hovey-Wright, D-Muskegon. “Do not underestimate the power of a lot of angry women and the men who support us. A yes vote puts you on the wrong side of history.”

The initiative would require most private and all public health insurance plans to offer a separate rider for an abortion. And a person would have to buy that rider before knowing if they needed an abortion. They would not be able to buy the rider after getting pregnant by any means, including rape or incest.

State Sen. Rebekah Warren, D-Ann Arbor, urged her colleagues to reject the proposal and “send this to the ballot next November for all of Michigan citizens to decide.”

The measure passed despite emotionally debate that included highly personal stories from several women in the Legislature, including an admission by Democratic Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer that she was raped 20 years ago while she was in college.

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