Back in May a Michigan anti – choice group called No Taxes For Abortion Insurance, supported by Michigan’s Right To Life was approved by the Board State Of Canvassers to start a petition that would stop health insurance companies, even under Obamacare, from covering elective abortion procedures. All the petition needed to succeed was 3.48% (about 258,088 valid signatures) from registered voters in the state and the proposal could be adopted without the governor’s signature or a vote from the people. Gov. Rick Snyder has already vetoed the bill last year.
When asked by a reporter how women could be expected to get abortion insurance in preparation of being raped, Right To Life’s president Barbara Listing compared ‘rape insurance’ to car insurance. “Nobody plans to have an accident in a car accident, nobody plans to have their homes flooded. You have to buy extra insurance for those two.”
See the video below:
The general idea at the time was that no one with common sense (or morals) would ever agree that buying separate insurance for sexual assault was a good idea. It’s just downright ridiculous and condemnable. It seems however that it isn’t as laughable as I had first thought. The anti-abortion activists turned in 315,477 signatures. And the Secretary of State’s elections division estimated that 299,941 of the signatures are valid. That equals out to about 4.2% of voters, more than they needed. Most people do not agree with the initiative, and Planned Parenthood has a petition going asking legislators to allow ALL Michigan voters to have a say in this. You can sign the petition HERE.
The initiative would ban abortion coverage in all health insurance plans, including in the cases of rape or incest. Women would have to buy an additional plan to be covered for abortion. However, they would not be able to buy the extra plan after being raped. That is why pro-choice advocates have started calling it “rape insurance.” Meghan Groen, of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan told RHReaityCheck.org that “It’s not like, oh, I was raped and so now I’ll buy this rider. Nobody is anticipating being a victim of crime.” Shelli Weisberg, of ACLU of Michigan added, “We think this is an incredibly dangerous proposal, not only for the health of a woman, but also the risk that the health-care industry will have to undertake.” Even though there is an exception in it for abortion in the cases when a woman’s life is in danger, Weisberg explained to RHRealityCheck.org that if a health insurance company doesn’t agree the woman’s life was in danger, then the hospital and doctor wouldn’t get paid. But the same hospital and doctor could get sued if an abortion were not provided in a life-or-death situation.
The Michigan Secretary of State approved the legislative initiative this week, which will not need a signature from Michigan Governor Rick Snyder (R) who is pro-life yet he vetoed a normal bill containing the similar language last year. He told Huffington Post at the time, “It just went too far.”
Pam Sherstad, of Michigan Right to Life, told the Detroit Free Press: “Michigan citizens don’t want to pay for other people’s abortions with tax dollars or through their insurance premiums. This doesn’t have to do with legalized abortions, it just has to do with who pays for it.”
However, according to a recent poll, 47 percent of voters in Michigan oppose the bill, while 41 support and 13 had no opinion, reports the Detroit Free Press. While some Democrats in the Michigan legislature oppose the initiative, there are enough anti- choice lawmakers to pass it. If it gets voted down, then voters would decide on it in 2014. If that doesn’t happen it looks like Michigan women may be shopping for sexual assault insurance soon.