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While you were looking over THERE...


While the spotlight and media attention was focused on the outrageous anti-worker legislation that Republicans jammed through the legislature last Thursday, they also made sure to throw in some equally outrageous attacks in their War on Women. Bills were passed as part of their overhaul of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan that include prohibitions on access to abortion for Michigan women. Additionally, they passed a bill that will force ALL women covered by health insurance in Michigan to purchase separate riders covering abortion services.

S.B. 613 was referred to the Insurance Committee -- Prevents abortion coverage by an insurance policies in the health insurance exchange created by the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare".) This is part of the overhaul of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

S.B. 614 was referred to the Insurance Committee -- Forces women to buy a separate rider for abortion coverage for any insurance policy purchased in Michigan. From the Senate Fiscal Agency's analysis, the bill will:

Prohibit a licensee or registrant, or a health facility or agency, from accepting reimbursement from a qualified health plan, policy, certificate, or contract for elective abortion services unless the reimbursement were from an optional rider.
House Substitute for S.B. 1293 was passed by both chambers and given "immediate effect" -- Revises the insurance code of 1956 to prevent abortion coverage by an insurance policies in the health insurance exchange created by the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare") and forces women to buy a separate rider for abortion coverage. This is part of the overhaul of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

House Substitute for S.B. 1294 was passed by both chambers and given "immediate effect" -- Amends the nonprofit health care corporation reform act to prevent abortion coverage by an insurance policies in the health insurance exchange created by the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare") and forces women to buy a separate rider for abortion coverage. This is part of the overhaul of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

I spoke with Rana Elmir, the Communications Director for the ACLU, about this she told me that these laws, passed while nobody was paying attention, are an egregious assault on the ability of Michigan women to have access to safe and legal abortions. "No woman plans for an unplanned pregnacy," Elmir said. "What's worse is that insurance companies aren't even required to provide riders. So women who are covered by existing health insurance may not even have that option.

The ACLU of Michigan has taken to the twitters using the hashtag #coverme and tweeting directly to target BCBSM and their CEO. Follow the ACLU's action on this and other issues at their blog HERE.

All of this is being done now, during the lame duck session, because Republicans know they don't have the votes to jam these bills through after the new legislators elected in November are sworn in. It's against the will of most of Michigan and assault on our state's women. Period.

P.S. Please sign our "Say NO to Right to Work in Michigan" petition HERE.

Cross-posted from Eclectablog. Graphic by Anne C. Savage, used with permission.

Originally posted to Eclectablog - eclectic blogging for a better tomorrow on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 11:21 AM PST.

Also republished by Michigan, My Michigan, Pro Choice, and Abortion.

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