Victory for Michigan
Elective abortion removed as standard 'benefit' from health plans
The question of who pays for abortion insurance was answered today in Michigan. The Michigan House (62-47) and Senate (27-11) approved the citizen-initiated Abortion Insurance Opt-Out Act. The Abortion Insurance Opt-Out Act is about who desires abortion coverage and who will pay for it, not whether abortion is legal or if insurance is available.
Today's vote in the Michigan House and Senate is a victory for Michigan and concludes a narrative of effort by a cast of hundreds of thousands of volunteers and key leaders. Because of the dedication of many, Michigan joins 23 other states in opting-out of abortion coverage in their health insurance exchanges through the Affordable Care Act.
Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said, "Abortion is not true health care and people who object will not have to contribute their own tax dollars or insurance premiums for elective abortions. This law is instrumental in preserving our long tradition of protecting the conscience rights of Michigan citizens before the Affordable Care Act takes full effect in 2014."
The NO Taxes for Abortion Insurance petition drive was democracy in action. Michigan's Constitution allows the people to initiate legislation through a petition. In 120 days, volunteer Michigan citizens from every county gathered more than 315,000 signatures to support this legislation.
Listing said, "We are thankful for the hundreds of thousands of dedicated volunteers and prolife citizens who made this law possible. We applaud the Michigan legislators who stood firm in their resolve and voted to ensure no person is forced to fund the deliberate taking of an innocent human life in the name of health care."
By working together we can keep our tax dollars and insurance premiums from paying for abortions as part of health care.
The federal health care reform law (Affordable Care Act) enacted in March 2010 requires that insurance exchanges be available in all 50 states by 2014. The ACA contains a special provision allowing the states to exclude abortion as a covered benefit. The petition drive needs to happen in 2013 so that Michigan can be ready for the federally required health exchanges which begin in 2014.
Michigan's Constitution allows the people to initiate legislation through a petition. This petition seeks to pass the Abortion Insurance Opt-Out legislation. The advantage of this approach is that the bill's language cannot be changed by the Michigan Legislature, nor can it be vetoed by the governor.
In order to propose this bill to the legislature, 258,000 valid signatures of registered voters must be gathered within 180 days. Once petitions are approved by the Board of Canvassers and submitted to the legislature, the legislature has 40 calendar days to act.
If a simple majority in both the House and Senate approves the bill, it becomes law without the governor's signature. The law would become effective ninety days after the end of the legislative session.
Sign-up for email updates (top, right corner of this page) for the latest information.