Published: Thu, April 20, 2017
U.S. | By Monique Johnson

Opposition grows to abortion coverage ban

Opposition grows to abortion coverage ban

State employees could not have abortions paid for by their health insurance under a bill debated at the Capitol on Wednesday.

Wisconsin state law already prohibits abortion through Medicaid and state exchanges established under the federal Affordable Care Act.

That's because the state now requires health plans to cover only therapeutic abortions for its members.

Pro-Life Wisconsin legislative director Matt Sande said the group opposes those exceptions, but supports the bill.

Hospital based pregnancy terminations oftentimes have significant medical expense, adding financial duress to emotional hard situations.

The bill's backers, including women's health groups, say that forcing students to leave campus to end a pregnancy can cause needless emotional, educational and financial problems, and that the medication - which consists of two pills - is simple to administer. At Planned Parenthood, we understand that many people have complicated feelings about abortion, and everyone comes to the issue with their own values and life experiences.

Opponents of the bill argue it would limit women's access to reproductive health care, while substituting the judgment of doctors with the will of politicians.

Advocates for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault have registered in opposition to the bill because it would require a woman to report cases of rape or incest to law enforcement in order to have abortion services covered under a state health plan.

Currently, state health plans can provide coverage for medically necessary or so-called "therapeutic" abortions.

How those are defined is left up to the health plan, but they generally are only those considered to be medically necessary.

The state Department of Employee Trust Funds now requires coverage for therapeutic abortions, which are deemed as medically necessary procedures.

If SB 320 succeeds, California would become the first state in the country to require many public universities to offer abortion medication and counseling on campus.

"The evidence is clear that medical abortion is 98 percent effective for early abortion and extremely safe", Meckstroth said.

A similar bill was introduced last session and did not pass.

Andre Jacque says that the measure he's sponsoring doesn't prevent state employees from obtaining an abortion, they just couldn't use their state health insurance to pay for it.

UC and CSU have yet to take a formal position, but both took a "position of concern" on Wednesday.

"Governor Walker is focused on Wisconsin's economy and getting the state budget done".

The California Senate Health Committee approved Senate Bill 320 Wednesday and then sent it to another committee for further consideration, according to The Mercury News.

Like this: