In lieu of a ban

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Last week, the General Assembly gave final approval to House Bill 818, a measure that would force insurance plans that cover abortion care to stop providing that coverage in the state health insurance exchange. The Legislature callously rejected an amendment that would have allowed insurers to provide coverage when abortion care is necessary to preserve a woman's health. Cloaked in the disingenuous argument that this bill simply prohibits "taxpayer-funded" abortions -- which are already unfairly restricted -- and unable to outright ban abortion entirely, House Bill 818's proponents are determined to make abortion care unaffordable and inaccessible.

However we feel about abortion, politicians shouldn't be allowed to take away a woman's health coverage just because of where she gets her insurance. Perhaps Gov. Tom Corbett can take a page out of conservative Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder's playbook. Late last year, Gov. Snyder vetoed a similar measure because "insurance companies and private buyers of insurance should be able to conduct their own affairs." If women's health and autonomy no longer get the respect of anti-abortion politicians, perhaps the interests of private businesses and a free market can.

SUSAN FRIETSCHE
Senior Staff Attorney
Women's Law Project
Downtown


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