Despite announcing a plan to back off of a bill requiring women undergo forced vaginal ultrasounds before an abortion, the Michigan legislature is moving full speed ahead with every other abortion restriction they can think of. Now, state senators have received word that the Senate insurance plan will no longer cover abortions, and that if they wish to have coverage for abortion care, they must pay an additional premium.
[I]n action taken Friday, state Senate staffers received a letter from the Senate clerk informing them that abortions would no longer be covered under the Senate’s health insurance plan as of May 1, and anyone wanting that type of coverage would have to buy a separate rider. [Senate Majority Leader Randy] Richardville requested that change, [spokeswoman Amber] McCann said. It follows the House of Representatives, which cut off abortion coverage in its employee insurance plan in 1995.
“It certainly sends a message to female staffers that decisions about their health are being made for political reasons,” said Robert McCann (no relation to Amber McCann), spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer, D-East Lansing. “We’re going to take a closer look and see if we can stop it.”
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Unilateral move to eliminate some access to abortion without any sort of open discussion over the issue? From a legislature that punished female politicians for speaking out against last year’s abortion bills, this action shouldn’t be surprising at all.