right to life http://michiganradio.org en Starting Friday, basic insurance policies in Michigan are barred from covering abortions http://michiganradio.org/post/starting-friday-basic-insurance-policies-michigan-are-barred-covering-abortions <p>Michigan’s law barring insurance companies from including abortion coverage in basic policies takes effect this week.&nbsp;</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">7 insurance companies, including Blue Cross/Blue Shield, will offer an additional rider.</span></p> Mon, 10 Mar 2014 10:18:00 +0000 Steve Carmody 16781 at http://michiganradio.org Fight over veto-proof abortion law not over; groups going to work to overturn http://michiganradio.org/post/fight-over-veto-proof-abortion-law-not-over-groups-going-work-overturn <p>What is it about Decembers in Lansing? Last year, it was <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/lame-duck-over-political-eyes-turn-2014">right-to-work</a>. This year, the controversy is over a petition initiative, a veto-proof law that will require people to buy separate insurance for abortion coverage. It could not be part of a basic health insurance package in Michigan.</p><p>It was an initiated law, put before the GOP-led Legislature by the very, very influential anti-abortion group <a href="http://michiganradio.org/term/right-life">Right to Life</a>. As we’ve<a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/lot-can-go-wrong-petition-drive-right-life-has-mastered-art-initiative"> noted before</a> on <a href="http://michiganradio.org/programs/its-just-politics"><em>It’s Just Politics</em></a>, Right to Life is virtually unrivaled in its ability to organize a petition campaign, and to squeeze votes out of the Legislature, especially when Republicans are in charge.</p><p>So, that’s it, right? Law is passed. All done.</p><p>Well, not so fast. Because what is begotten by a petition drive can be challenged by a petition drive. Michigan’s pro-choice movement thinks it can take down this new law with a referendum. In fact, meetings have started to try to organize a ballot drive. Fri, 13 Dec 2013 19:07:28 +0000 Zoe Clark & Rick Pluta 15685 at http://michiganradio.org Fight over veto-proof abortion law not over; groups going to work to overturn State legislature adopts abortion insurance ban http://michiganradio.org/post/state-legislature-adopts-abortion-insurance-ban <p></p><p>It’s Thursday, the day we talk about Michigan politics with Ken Sikkema, former Senate Majority Leader and Senior Policy Fellow at Public Sector Consultants, and Susan Demas, publisher of Inside Michigan Politics.</p><p>The state legislature is wrapping up the session this week. On Wednesday, a controversial voter-initiated bill put forward by Right to Life was passed by the Republican majority House and Senate. The bill bans abortion coverage in standard insurance plans, which means Michiganders will have to purchase a separate additional rider if they want abortion covered as part of their insurance plan. This bill does not provide exceptions for rape or incest. It also does not provide an exception when the life of the mother is at risk. A similar bill was vetoed by Governor Snyder last year, but as a voter initiated bill, he doesn’t have that power this time around.</p><p><em>Listen to the full interview above.</em></p><p></p><p> Thu, 12 Dec 2013 21:34:00 +0000 Jennifer White 15666 at http://michiganradio.org State legislature adopts abortion insurance ban Few abortions covered with insurance in Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/few-abortions-covered-insurance-michigan <p>LANSING, Mich. (AP) - When lawmakers vote to restrict insurance coverage of abortions in Michigan, it will affect a small number of abortions because the vast majority already are paid for out of pocket.<br /><br />Health insurance covered fewer than 750, or 3 percent, of 23,000 abortions reported to the state last year.<br /> Sat, 07 Dec 2013 16:15:00 +0000 The Associated Press 15591 at http://michiganradio.org Few abortions covered with insurance in Michigan Lessenberry talks abortion coverage, millions to small businesses in Detroit and bankruptcy http://michiganradio.org/post/lessenberry-talks-abortion-coverage-millions-small-businesses-detroit-and-bankruptcy <p>In this <em>Week in Michigan Politics, </em>Christina Shockley and Jack Lessenberry discuss a proposal to block abortions from being covered in basic health plans, how <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/warren-buffett-michigan-praises-detroit-announces-investment-local-businesses">Warren Buffett is backing millions of dollars</a> in an initiative to help small businesses in Detroit, and look to next week when Judge Steven Rhodes will decide if Detroit is eligible for bankruptcy.</p><p> Wed, 27 Nov 2013 13:18:17 +0000 Jack Lessenberry, Christina Shockley & Emily Fox 15455 at http://michiganradio.org Lessenberry talks abortion coverage, millions to small businesses in Detroit and bankruptcy A lot can go wrong with a petition drive, but Right to Life has mastered the art of the initiative http://michiganradio.org/post/lot-can-go-wrong-petition-drive-right-life-has-mastered-art-initiative <p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-740bc126-a890-a5c7-b059-8c1e0f9951a8" style="line-height:1.15;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;"><span style="font-size:16px;font-family:Arial;color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:normal;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;">The petition drive is the citizens&rsquo; direct route to changing laws. It&rsquo;s part of the state constitution,</span><a href="http://www.legislature.mi.gov/%28S%28htqdyl45oyyhzu45j0b45a45%29%29/mileg.aspx?page=getObject&amp;objectName=mcl-Article-II-9" style="text-decoration:none;"><span style="font-size:16px;font-family:Arial;color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:normal;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;"> </span><span style="font-size:16px;font-family:Arial;color:#1155cc;background-color:transparent;font-weight:normal;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:underline;vertical-align:baseline;">Article 2, Section 9</span></a><span style="font-size:16px;font-family:Arial;color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:normal;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;"> (if you want to read it for yourself). The petition-initiated law is not subject to a veto by the governor. If the Legislature refuses to adopt it, the decision goes to voters as a statewide ballot question.</span></p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.15;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;">&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.15;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;"><span style="font-size:16px;font-family:Arial;color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:normal;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;">Right to Life of Michigan submitted petitions a week ago to initiate a law that would say people could no longer get abortion coverage as part of a basic health insurance plan. Consumers would have to buy separate coverage to get abortions paid for. The only exception would be an emergency abortion necessary to save a woman&rsquo;s life.</span></p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.15;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;">&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.15;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;"><span style="font-size:16px;font-family:Arial;color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:normal;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;">&ldquo;I had a similar bill that came to me that I vetoed,&rdquo; Governor Rick Snyder reminded folks after the petitions were filed. &ldquo;And that was the right answer in my view.&rdquo;</span></p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.15;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;">&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.15;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;"><span style="font-size:16px;font-family:Arial;color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:normal;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;">Snyder vetoed this language when it was part of a bill sent to him last year by the Legislature because it did not include those rape and incest exceptions. That&rsquo;s despite the fact that he has identified himself as &ldquo;pro-life,&rdquo; that is opposed to abortion, when he ran in &nbsp;2010.</span></p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.15;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;">&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.15;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:0pt;"><span style="font-size:16px;font-family:Arial;color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:normal;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;">But not sufficiently so for Right to Life (which</span><a href="http://www.mlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2010/06/right_to_life_endorses_mike_co.html" style="text-decoration:none;"><span style="font-size:16px;font-family:Arial;color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:normal;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;"> </span><span style="font-size:16px;font-family:Arial;color:#1155cc;background-color:transparent;font-weight:normal;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:underline;vertical-align:baseline;">endorsed</span></a><span style="font-size:16px;font-family:Arial;color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:normal;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;"> another candidate in the 2010 Republican primary.) Right to Life has a ready response when governors veto legislation it supports. So, once again, Right to Life launched a petition drive to enact as an initiated law what Snyder had</span><span style="font-size:16px;font-family:Arial;color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:normal;font-style:italic;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;"> </span><span style="font-size:16px;font-family:Arial;color:#000000;background-color:transparent;font-weight:normal;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;">vetoed.</span> Fri, 11 Oct 2013 17:46:34 +0000 Rick Pluta & Zoe Clark 14819 at http://michiganradio.org A lot can go wrong with a petition drive, but Right to Life has mastered the art of the initiative Richardville: Preventing abortion coverage not a 'top priority' http://michiganradio.org/post/richardville-preventing-abortion-coverage-not-top-priority <p>The Republican leader in the state Senate says he&#39;s not yet willing to commit to taking up a measure that would ban insurance companies from including abortion coverage in standard health plans.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Senate Majority Leader Randy </span>Richardville<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> told reporters&nbsp;Tuesday that he doesn&#39;t consider it a top priority. He says he still needs time to speak with his caucus about the issue.</span></p><p>The group Right to Life of Michigan turned in more than 315,000 signatures <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/right-life-files-abortion-coverage-petitions">last week</a> to send the measure to the Legislature. Those signatures still need to be certified by a state board. If that happens and lawmakers fail to pass the measure, it will go on the ballot.</p><p> Tue, 08 Oct 2013 17:28:57 +0000 Jake Neher 14765 at http://michiganradio.org Richardville: Preventing abortion coverage not a 'top priority' Right to Life files abortion coverage petitions http://michiganradio.org/post/right-life-files-abortion-coverage-petitions <p>Abortion opponents have turned in more than 315,000 petition signatures calling on the Legislature to place new restrictions on health coverage.</p><p></p><p>The new law would require consumers to buy separate coverage for abortions.</p><p></p><p>Abortion opponents say they want to make sure that abortion coverage is not automatic when people buy insurance under the new federal healthcare law. The petition-initiated law would require consumers to buy a separate rider for abortion coverage.</p><p></p> Sat, 05 Oct 2013 16:00:00 +0000 Rick Pluta 14734 at http://michiganradio.org Right to Life files abortion coverage petitions Petition drive will seek to ban automatic abortion coverage in Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/petition-drive-will-seek-ban-automatic-abortion-coverage-michigan <p>A state elections board has given the go-ahead to a petition drive that would enact a restriction on abortions.</p><p>The initiative would ban abortion coverage as a part of basic insurance policies.</p><p>Instead, customers and businesses that offer employee coverage would have to buy a separate rider for insurance coverage.</p><p>The effort seeks to enact a requirement that was vetoed by Governor Rick Snyder.</p><p>If the drive succeeds, the Legislature could adopt the law without the threat of a veto.</p> Wed, 22 May 2013 15:48:40 +0000 Rick Pluta & Mark Brush 12684 at http://michiganradio.org Petition drive will seek to ban automatic abortion coverage in Michigan How about this license plate: RU Nuts? http://michiganradio.org/post/how-about-license-plate-ru-nuts <p><font color="#000000" face="Arial" id="role_document" size="2"><font size="4"><font size="4"><font size="4"><font size="4">We&rsquo;ve got a few serious problems in this state, from the fact that we lost almost a million jobs in the past decade to the inconvenient truth that higher education has become both essential for all and highly unaffordable for a large percentage of us.</font></font></font></font></font></p> Tue, 31 Jan 2012 16:11:08 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 6018 at http://michiganradio.org How about this license plate: RU Nuts? Michigan Senate Committee to review 'Choose Life' specialty plate legislation http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-senate-committee-review-choose-life-specialty-plate-legislation <p>The <a href="http://www.legislature.mi.gov/%28S%28nxzhak55r5mjt2ah4mnp3m55%29%29/mileg.aspx?page=CommitteeBillRecordSearch&amp;mySession=2011-2012&amp;CommitteeName=TRANSPORTATION&amp;chamber=senate">Michigan Senate Transportation Committee</a> is <a href="http://www.legislature.mi.gov/%28S%28nxzhak55r5mjt2ah4mnp3m55%29%29/mileg.aspx?page=CommitteeMeeting&amp;CommitteeName=Transportation&amp;chamber=Senate">scheduled to review a bill today</a> that would <a href="http://www.legislature.mi.gov/%28S%28nxzhak55r5mjt2ah4mnp3m55%29%29/mileg.aspx?page=getObject&amp;objectname=2011-SB-0600">create a specialty license plate</a> to raise money for the <a href="http://www.rtl.org/">Right to Life of Michigan Fund</a>.</p><p><a href="http://www.rtl.org/legislation/PendingLegislation/chooselife_licenseplate.html">According to Right to Life of Michigan</a>, drivers would be able to purchase the specialty plates to support the pro-life cause.</p><p>Lawmakers have previously tried to bring up similar legislation, but it has failed. According to <a href="http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2012/01/choose_life_specialty_license.html">mlive.com</a>:</p><blockquote><p>About half the U.S. has &quot;Right to Life&quot; specialty plates, but their roll-out has been contentious. Groups in several states have mounted legal challenges on First Amendment grounds, some successfully, some not. The Supreme Court <a href="http://www.lifenews.com/2009/10/05/state-4476/">has let stand</a> state rulings barring production of the plates.</p><p>Most recently, in November, a North Carolina judge <a href="http://www.christianpost.com/news/n-c-court-blocks-choose-life-license-plates-63271/">blocked production of the plates</a> until a legal battle was resolved. The American Civil Liberties Union argued production of the plates constituted &quot;viewpoint discrimination&quot; because there was no corresponding pro-choice alternative.</p></blockquote><p>Michigan State Senator <a href="http://www.senate.michigan.gov/gop/senators/Colbeck.asp?District=7">Patrick Colbeck</a> introduced the legislation, also known as <a href="http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2011-2012/billintroduced/Senate/htm/2011-SIB-0600.htm">Senate Bill No. 600</a>. Tue, 17 Jan 2012 12:14:53 +0000 Zoe Clark 5813 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan Senate Committee to review 'Choose Life' specialty plate legislation