Democrats sponsor bill to roll back abortion insurance law

Jun 16, 2014

Democrats in the state Legislature have rolled out a bill to repeal the state’s petition-initiated law that requires people who want abortion coverage to buy a separate insurance policy. They acknowledge they don’t have the votes to repeal the law that was approved just last year by the Legislature. They say they’re hoping to open a public conversation on the law and its effects.

 A law that requires women to purchase a separate insurance policy to cover abortions remains controversial.
A law that requires women to purchase a separate insurance policy to cover abortions remains controversial.
Credit user cedarbenddrive / Flickr

Dr. Timothy Johnson is a University of Michigan medical professor. He says the law has a lot of unintended results. For example, he says the law could be used to deny coverage to women whose pregnancies end in some types of miscarriages.

“I think this law has a lot of perverse outcomes,” Johnson said, “perverse consequences that are causing patients to suffer, causing women to suffer, causing families to suffer, causing marriages to suffer, and I don’t think that’s what the people of the state of Michigan wanted.”

Right to Life of Michigan says that’s not true – the law specifically protects coverage for miscarriages. 

It would take super-majorities to reverse the law, and state Representative Sarah Roberts, D-St. Clair Shores, says it’s clear the votes are not there right now.

“As legislators it’s our job to represent people and stand up and do what’s right, and we believe the right thing to do is repeal this,” she said.

The petition drive that resulted in the law at issue was launched after Governor Rick Snyder vetoed a bill to require people to purchase separate policies if they want abortion coverage.