Michigan Bill Would Ban Insurance Policies from Covering Abortions

Anti-choice conservatives have come up with, shall we say, creative ways to legislate against women’s reproductive rights. You know the list: requiring clinics to be a specific number of miles from a hospital; transvaginal ultrasounds; fetal heartbeat laws; de-funding Planned Parenthood; and so forth.

In Michigan, Republican lawmakers have devised a particularly insidious piece of legislation that would ban primary insurance policies from covering abortions — even abortions as the result of rape or incest. That’s right, in addition to being raped, a woman could potentially have to pay thousands of dollars out of pocket to terminate. Consequently, women would have to purchase separate policies or a rider that would cover abortions.

However, on the up side, if there is one, the law would allow insurance policies to continue to cover abortions to save a mother’s life. Ah yes. So far-right Michigan Republicans aren’t entirely misogynistic — just mostly misogynistic.

The Toledo Blade reported:

But it is expected they will pass it as early as this week or next since a majority of the House and Senate signed the initiative petitions that were circulated by Right to Life.

In many circumstances, abortions can be quite expensive, prohibitively so when it comes to paying out of pocket. Case in point, the Michigan legislature heard testimony from a pregnant couple in which the mother was hospitalized when they learned that their fetus was missing part of its brain. They decided to terminate the pregnancy, and they were able to do so only because their insurance coverage allowed for the safest possible procedure.

That option would end if Michigan Republicans pass the law.

Meanwhile, I’m wondering what’s next. They’re not banning it outright, but they’re making it extraordinarily difficult to attain. Sounds like the old Jim Crow laws. If you want to retain purview over your own reproductive organs, be prepared for the gynecological equivalent of literacy tests and poll taxes.

(ht ThinkProgress)

Bob Cesca is the host of the Bob Cesca Show podcast, a twice weekly political talk show. He’s also a contributor to Salon.com. Follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.