Senate, House Pass Abortion Insurance Bill - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Senate, House Pass Abortion Insurance Bill

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) - The Republican-controlled Michigan Legislature has passed a law banning almost all abortion coverage from health insurance plans unless an additional policy is bought.

The Right to Life-backed initiative becomes law in March without Republican Gov. Rick Snyder's signature. He vetoed similar legislation last year ago but has no power to do so this time.

The Senate voted 27-11. The House voted 62-47.

"A woman's health care decisions should be made by herself, her doctor and her family," Women's Democratic Caucus Chairwoman state Rep. Marcia Hovey-Wright said in a release. "Health care decisions are private matters, and special interest groups shouldn't be allowed to collude with government to intrude upon them."

Employers and individuals will have to buy extra insurance to cover almost all abortions. Their primary plan won't apply in cases of rape or incest and only if an abortion is needed to save the woman's life.

Of 23,000 abortions in Michigan last year, health insurance covered 3 percent. Democrats say it's despicable to require women to buy special abortion insurance in advance of being raped.



The passing is something that State Rep. Sarah Roberts says is just plain wrong. "The polling is clear, 60 to 70 percent of voters across the state, democrats, republicans, independent, even some folks that are pro-life, feel this measure it too extreme," she said.


But Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville isn't buying the numbers. "Polls don't run the way people's conscience and people's passions and I'm proud of that," he said.

Pro-choice supporters want to put this issue on the ballot anyway, a move that doesn't scare Ed Rivet. "Presumable they'd have to raise a couple million dollars and go out and do that kind of an effort with paid circulators, because they don't have a grass roots effort like ours," Rivet said.

The legislation to take immediate effect failed in the House, but House Democratic Leader Tim Greimel says he thinks that will have little impact on the vote. "It really won't change the harmful and negative impact that is proposal will have on women, but it will accommodate insurances companies," Rep. Griemel said.

The vote stirred emotions on both sides of the aisle and Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer took to the Senate floor and shared for the first time, her personal story of a sexual assault. Watch this video in the YouTube clip above.

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