Roundup: Insurance in Lousiana, Machines in Michigan, And a Lot of Governor Talk

Robin Marty

More state restrictions on abortion from insurance crack-downs to mandating new equipment, and a whole lot of governor talk.

Louisiana Senate has passed its abortion insurance ban, which will now go back to the House to reconcile the bills.  The bill only bans abortion coverage in new public insurance pools, not in private insurance as it did before.  But, the reason private insurance was no longer being included is because private insurers in the state won’t cover abortion anyway, according to bill’s sponsor.  The ban does allow an exemption for life of the mother, but does not allow one for rape or incest.  When it came to opposing the lack of rape exemptions, sadly, the silence was deafening, according to CNBC:

[Rep. Frank] Hoffmann’s bill includes an exception for abortions when a mother’s life is in danger — but no exception for rape and incest victims, as other states have included in similar bills.

Opponents have argued the measure would add an unnecessary obstacle to women trying to get an abortion and should include exceptions for rape and incest victims. No one spoke against the proposal, however, on the Senate floor Monday.

CNBC also reports that Louisiana took the time to try and revamp rules on regulating clinics that provide abortions, to make them easier to reject licenses should there be allegations of impropriety.  Rather than a three judge panel ruling on the incident, it would be decided simply and immediately by the Health Secretary of the State.

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Michigan, too, has come up with a novel new way to delay and restrict access to abortions – tell the clinics their equipment isn’t good enough.  From the Chicago News Tribune:

Michigan lawmakers plan to consider a bill that would tighten the state law on pre-abortion ultrasound tests.

A bill scheduled for discussion in a Senate committee Tuesday would require the use of the most advanced equipment available at a facility when an ultrasound is shown.

Republican Sen. Wayne Kuipers of Holland says he introduced the new legislation because some facilities have used outdated equipment that intentionally produced grainy images instead of using their newest technology.

So clinics need to put out more money to buy newer equipment, or limit the number of people that can be seen to however many can use the “most advanced” machine in the clinic.  And, in case there was any doubt that the bill was politically motivated, the article points out that its sponsor is currently running for congress.

Speaking of ultrasounds, Florida Governor Charlie Crist’s Republican senate opponent Mark Rubio is accusing Crist of forcing taxpayers to fund abortion due to a amendment in the mandatory ultrasound bill that Crist vetoed last week.  Polifact looks closer at that claim, and finds it lacking.

Before signing off on the abortion language in the national health care bill, Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich, persuaded President Barack Obama to issue an executive order providing a way to ensure two checks go to insurers every month, so that abortion dollars and federal dollars are not commingled. And Stupak, who up until that point had been the champion of the abortion foes’ position, declared, “There will be no public funding for abortion in this legislation.”

We agree. That was the case before Crist vetoed the Florida bill. And it’s true after.

Abortion foes argue the federal rules are little more than an accounting trick, that if federal subsidies go to someone who chooses a plan that covers abortion, it’s the same as taxpayer-funded abortion. But we think it’s misleading to call it taxpayer-funded abortion when the law requires abortions be paid solely through a portion of the premiums (not tax dollars) paid by people who choose a plan that covers abortions.

We rule Rubio’s statement False.

Crist vetoed the ultrasound bill, but it looks like a Republican hoping to take his place as governor, Rick Scott, would not have done the same.  According to The Ledger:

During [an editorial board] meeting, he again was asked about House Bill 1143, referred to by many as the “anti-abortion bill.” The bill would require a woman seeking an abortion to have an ultrasound of her fetus and to be required to pay for it.

Scott was asked how he could reconcile his call for less government intervention and regulation and support the bill requiring women to look at the ultrasound.

“I’m pro-life… I believe if they see the sonogram, they won’t have the abortion,” he said.

Scott isn’t the only one touting his anti-abortion street cred to try and woo Republicans to make it through the primary.  Alaska governor Sean Parnell is topping off his veto of healthcare expansion for children and pregnant women by hitting the anti-choice fundraising circuit, KTUU reports.

Gov. Sean Parnell plans to appear at a fundraiser this week for an abortion initiative that will appear on this summer’s ballot.

Alaskans for Parental Rights e-mailed a notice on Wednesday’s event in Anchorage.

The initiative would require parental notification for girls under 18 seeking an abortion.

Parnell campaign spokeswoman Michelle Toohey confirmed Parnell’s plans to attend. She says the governor supports the initiative and has made that support “fairly obvious.”

I guess that’s how you get rewarded for being “pro-family” these days.

Mini Roundup: Women are claiming that Scientology leaders talked them into abortionsCampus Progress takes a close look at the allegations.

June 14, 2010

No Mystique About Feminism – New York Times

Kenyan churches blame gov’t for blasts at rally – The Associated Press

Former Scientologists Report Being Pressured into Having Abortions by Church – Campus Progress

Abortion coming to the military? – Salon

Conservatism could still conquer in California – OneNewsNow

Doctor key to UW abortion plan leaving for Harvard – Boston Herald

Can Ultrasound Change Minds and Hearts in Abortion Debate? – The New American

Taking Ottawa to task on abortion – Montreal Gazette

Carly Fiorina vs. Barbara Boxer: The Sisterhood and Abortion Politics – Politics Daily

Close to 200 attend rally in support of abortion – Montreal Gazette

Montgomery abortion clinic agrees to close – WTVM

Mitch Daniels Defends Call for Abortion Truce in Face of Pro-Life Criticism –

La. Senate backs abortion regulation bills – CNBC

Gov to appear at abortion initiative fundraiser – KTUU

Analysis Shows Promoting Tax-Funding Contraception Doesn’t Reduce Abortion –

Marco Rubio claims Gov. Crist’s veto of abortion bill clears the way for … – PolitiFact

Bill would modify Michigan abortion ultrasound law – Chicago Tribune

‘Personhood’ Abortion Issue Is Back on the Colorado Ballot – Politics Daily

Rick Scott Talks on Abortion, Health Bills at Tiger Bay – The Ledger

Women reveal accounts of forced abortion in Scientology – Wikinews

Charlie Crist Vetoes Abortion Bill – Wall Street Journal

Lawyer withdraws from abortion clinic threat case – Seattle Times

A Modest Proposal: Be a Bother – National Catholic Register

Failed Sex-Ed Policies in the UK – National Review Online

French Emergency Contraception Drug Ella to be Reviewed by FDA – eMaxHealth

Research shows only mixed results in efforts to tame teen sex behavior – Washington Post

Ban on gay men donating blood upheld – CNN

HIV and the rise of complacency – Times Online

Melinda Gates Can’t Run From the Abortion Controversy – Politics Daily

June 15, 2010

Giving Military Women the Same Abortion Rights as Civilians – About – News & Issues

Crist Vetoes Ultrasound Measure – The Jacksonville Observer

Kagan: Bad on Abortion, Gun Rights and the Commerce Clause – Human Events

Ella, Week After Birth Control Pill, A Boon for European Women, But Will It … – Huffington Post

Family planning vital to poverty eradication – The Citizen Daily

Researchers Explore Hormonal Contraception Options For Men – Medical News Today

African women begin test of vaginal ring intended to kill HIV virus – Washington Post

Rise in HIV cases among gay men – Irish Times

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