Senator Gretchen Whitmer is the latest in a line of female politicians standing up for women's rights in States passing regressive legislation. Believe it or not, it is now the law in Michigan that if a woman wants her health insurance company to help her end a pregnancy caused by a rape, she needs to have purchased a special insurance before the event even happened. Yes, Rape Insurance.
In the words of Senator Whitmer:
[This bill] tells women who were raped that they should have thought ahead and planned for it.
Even more ironic is that this bill has been brought before the Michigan Legislature before; it has passed twice and two times Republican Governors have vetoed it. Governor Rick Snyder actually said:
I don’t believe it is appropriate to tell a woman who becomes pregnant due to a rape that she needed to select elective insurance coverage, and, as a practical matter, I believe this type of policy is an overreach of government into the private marketThis time, the bill won't need the Governor's signature. It has come before the legisature as a Citizen's Initiative, the work of right to life group that, according to Senator Whitmer, lied repeatedly about the legislation saying that it would help prevent abortions under Obamacare.
While explaining her No vote, Senator Whitmer also shared a personal story (7:10 in the video). She herself was raped over twenty years ago:
But over 20 years ago I was a victim of rape. And thank god it didn’t result in a pregnancy. Because I can’t imagine going through what I went through and then having to consider what to do about an unwanted pregnancy from an attacker.She finishes her statement with a plea:
If this were law then and I had become pregnant, I would not be able to have coverage because of this. How extreme does this measure need to be? I’m not the only woman in our state that has faced that horrible circumstance…. I think you need to see the face of the women you are impacting by this vote today.
You need to think of the girls that we're raising and what kind of a State we want to be when you put your approval on something this extreme. I ask that you at least let the people of the State have a vote on this. Don't ram it through using some loophole that is going to impact 100% of the women in this State when only 4% of the people signed onto a petition. Let the people decide. Let the people of Michigan decide.The legislation is due to become law 90 days after the end of the current legislative session.