Rape Victims May Need Special Health Insurance Just for Abortions in This State

One state leader is calling it the most misogynistic law ever.

Rape Victims May Need Special Health Insurance Just for Abortions in Michigan

(Photo courtesy of Sen. Gretchen Whitmer)

TakePart News Editor Shaya Tayefe Mohajer is a journalist who has worked in many corners of the world for major news organizations.

Women in Michigan will have to buy separate insurance for abortion coverage if a new citizen-created law gets approval from state government.

State Sen. Gretchen Whitmer blasted the bill this week, saying the offensive proposal is the work of "an extremist special interest group" and "an insult to the millions of Michigan women."

The law would prohibit insurers from including abortion coverage in health insurance policies, unless women purchase a separate rider to their policy that would cover unplanned pregnancies. 

“Forcing women to decide whether they want to buy ‘rape insurance’ and even compelling parents to make the unfathomable decision about whether to buy it for their daughters is truly despicable," Whitmer said in a statement. "Requiring Michigan women to plan ahead for an unplanned pregnancy is not only illogical, it’s one of the most misogynistic proposals I have ever seen in the Michigan Legislature."

The proposed measure is just one more way anti-choice activists are chiseling away at women's access to abortion, which is a legal medical procedure. 

In Texas this year, an activist-backed law passed, requiring doctors who provide abortions to have hospital admitting privileges. Doctors have deemed such privileges unecessary because no hospital emergency department would ever turn away a woman suffering from complications following the procedure (which is a rare outcome).

The anti–abortion rights group Right to Life Michigan brought the legislation to the Michigan capitol with nearly 300,000 petition signatures, which have been certified by state election officials. 

Legislators have 40 legislative session days from Dec. 2 to decide whether to bring the bill to a vote; if they don't, it will go to a statewide ballot.

The silver lining might be that a similar bill was vetoed by Republican Gov. Rick Snyder, in part because like the current proposal it didn't make exceptions for rape or incest.

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