Michigan Lawmakers Push Back on Anti-Choice Insurance Law

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Michigan Lawmakers Push Back on Anti-Choice Insurance Law

Nina Liss-Schultz

Michigan legislators are pushing to repeal the state’s infamous ban on insurance coverage of abortion and have introduced legislation that would prohibit employers from discriminating against people based on their use of contraceptives.

Michigan legislators are pushing to repeal the state’s infamous ban on insurance coverage of abortion and have introduced legislation that would prohibit employers from discriminating against people based on their use of contraceptives.

The GOP-led Michigan legislature in 2013 passed a measure to ban all insurance coverage of abortion. People who become pregnant in the state must purchase an insurance rider to cover the cost of abortion care under the law.

Eight of the state’s 42 insurance companies provide abortion coverage, all through employer-provided plans only, meaning only women whose employers offer those plans have the option of purchasing the additional coverage.

“This regressive law hurts women when they are most vulnerable and puts unreasonable barriers between them and the health care they need,” said state Rep. Sarah Roberts (D), the author of this year’s legislative effort to repeal the ban.

Roe has collapsed and Texas is in chaos.

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Roberts on Friday introduced HB 4764, the second house bill to repeal the Abortion Insurance Opt-Out Act of 2013. A bill identical to Roberts’ was introduced in the state senate by Curtis Hertel Jr. (D-East Lansing).

Republicans dominate Michigan’s senate and hold a 63-47 majority in the house.

Hertel is the co-author of SB 397, which would prohibit employers from asking employees about their contraceptive use and from discriminating against employees if they don’t answer questions about whether they use contraceptives.

NARAL Pro-Choice America gave Michigan an F on reproductive health access.

Aside from banning abortion coverage in health insurance, the state has a pre-Roe abortion ban on the books, forces abortion providers to give state-mandated counseling, prohibits certain state employees from counseling or referring people to abortion services, and funds crisis pregnancy centers directly.

Still, the rate of abortions has gone up across Michigan. That’s in part due to an increase in the number of patients coming from Ohio, where anti-choice lawmakers have pushed policies that have closed half of the abortion clinics in the state since 2013.