Repro-Briefs: One Man’s Crusade to Eliminate State Insurance Coverage for Abortion Care and Other News

Robin Marty

One man fights hard to remove abortion coverage across the state of North Carolina, and other states move forward on legislation which limits choice.

Wake County in North Carolina may have reversed its decision to eliminate coverage for abortion care the health insurance plans of county employees, but Gaston County, N.C. has decided to eliminate such coverage anyway.

There was no dissent and little discussion among the all-Republican Gaston County Board of Commissioners as they voted to end coverage of elective abortion for county employees.

“I think if we would have known anytime sooner this would have already been taken out,” Commissioner Tracy Philbeck said after the meeting. “I think the citizens I represent in Gaston County do not want their taxpaying dollars to be used towards abortion.”

The resolution commissioners unanimously approved authorized the county manager to rollback the county health plan’s coverage of abortion “to the fullest extent of the law.”

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The fact that the general health insurance policy covered abortion care for women who needed one was pointed out to them by anti-choice politician, Rep. Paul Stam of Apex, who originally instigated the removal from Wake County’s policy, and who is now apparently contacting all of the county councils in the state in a fight to have coverage eliminated. Stam was the plaintiff in the lawsuit ruled on by the state Supreme Court that made it illegal to use tax dollars in abortions.

The Georgia Senate passed a bill to outlaw women being coerced into abortions against their will, as well as outlawing abortions based on gender or race.  The Senate provides no answers to exactly where and when there has been any evidence of coercion, nor how they intend for providers to identify “race-based” abortions.

Kansas legislators are in their final negotiations on rewriting law to limit late abortions in the state.

Kansas House and Senate negotiators are close to agreement on a bill rewriting state law on late-term abortions.

The three senators and three House members met for about an hour Thursday. They expect to review a final draft by early next week for both chambers to consider.

The lead Senate negotiator, Republican Pat Apple of Louisburg, says the bill will include letting a woman or her family sue a doctor if they have evidence her late-term was illegal.

The negotiators also expect to include provisions expanding the information doctors must give the state about late-term abortions they perform.

One such move that is expected is to eliminate a “mental health” exception from the ban.  

Finally, Colorado groups seeking to define a fertilized egg as a person and to establish rights for “Zygote Americans,” now has enough signatures on a petition to add a ballot initiative in 2010 asking the state to ban abortion, an initiative which failed resoundingly in 2008.  Do they think lower turnout at midterms might give them a better shot?  Wendy Norris take a closer look at “this initiative” here.

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