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Rape Insurance Bill in Michigan Passes into Law
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Lawmakers in Michigan passed a controversial measure on Wednesday that will ban all insurance plans in the state from covering abortion unless the women’s life is in danger. The law will force women and employers to purchase a separate abortion rider if they want the procedure covered, even in rape cases and incest.

The Michigan State Legislature first passed the measure last year, but Governor Rick Snyder (R) vetoed it, saying he does not “believe it is appropriate to tell a woman who becomes pregnant due to a rape that she needed to select elective insurance coverage.”

Supporters of the “Abortion Insurance Opt-out-Act” argue that it allows people who are opposed to abortion to avoid paying into a plan that covers it.  The “rape insurance” as it’s nicknamed by opponents would force some women to anticipate the possibility of being raped by purchasing the extra abortion insurance ahead of time.

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During the debates, Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Witmer (D-East Lansing) commented that this bill essentially lets women know that they need rape insurance, and that if they were to get raped, they obviously should have preemptively gotten insurance for it beforehand. “Make no mistakes, this is anything but a citizens’ initiative. It’s a special interest group’s perverted dream come true.”

The measure was passed last year by the Michigan Legislature but Governor Snyder (R) vetoed it, saying he does not “believe it is appropriate to tell a women who becomes pregnant due to rape that she needed to select elective insurance coverage.” 30,000 voters signed a petition this very year which forced a second vote to be had on the measure. Both chambers passed the bill, and so it will automatically becomes law now, even without Governor Snyder’s approval.



The New York Times cited research from the Guttmacher Institute, and have found that more than 75% of private insurance health care plans currently cover abortions. and found that Eight states have passed similar laws spanning the insurance coverage of abortion, according to the Guttmacher Institute, but only two of them have actually made the abortion rider available to women.

A few Democratic women lawmakers became very emotional during the debates on Wednesday as they told their stories of miscrarriages and abortion, and State Rep. David Knezek(D) blasted the measure as misogynistic.  “This body made up of 80 percent men will make a decision that will impact 100 percent of women,” he said.



 

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