News Abortion

Georgia State Senate Passes Abortion Coverage Ban

Emily Crockett

If SB 98 becomes law, Georgia will become the 25th state to forbid health plans on the insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act from covering abortion care.

The Georgia State Senate passed a bill Monday that would ban state-sponsored insurance plans from covering abortion care, with no exceptions for rape or incest and only a narrow health exception.

The bill, SB 98, passed the senate 35-18 on a party-line vote, with only one Republican, Sen. Fran Millar (Atlanta), voting against it and no Democrats voting in favor. It will now head to the state house for consideration. Millar’s office told Rewire that he voted no because there were no exceptions for rape and incest, and that he expects a similar bill that does contain those exceptions passed by the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives to become law and “trump whatever we do.”

If SB 98 becomes law, Georgia will become the 25th state to forbid health plans on the insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act from covering abortion care.

“Rather than focusing on the economy, jobs, or health initiatives that would actually promote women’s health, Georgia politicians have chosen to focus on robbing women of essential health insurance benefits to score political points,” Amanda Allen, state legislative counsel at the Center for Reproductive Rights, told Rewire in an email.

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Michigan recently received national attention for passing an even more restrictive law that affected all private insurance plans, but pro-choice efforts to stop it from going into effect have failed.

Reproductive rights advocates say that insurance bans on abortion are an anti-choice tactic to restrict access to abortion that hurts the most vulnerable, and that health exceptions as narrow as those found in the Georgia bill exclude women with dire circumstances like cancer or heart disease.

“Members of the house should reject this clearly discriminatory and harmful bill,” Allen said.

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