The Republican-dominated Michigan state legislature pushed through a bill on Wednesday requiring women to purchase separate insurance policies if they want to have an abortion, the Detroit Free Press reported.
“I don’t think elective abortion should be a part of insurance,” state Rep. Nancy Jenkins (R) told the Free Press. “This doesn’t affect access to abortion. It will still be legal when this law takes effect. Who should be required to pay? Not Michigan taxpayers.”
However, the law, which takes effect in early 2014, will also ban women from purchasing the policy after becoming pregnant under any circumstances, including rape and incest, causing opponents to refer to it as a policy on “rape insurance.”
The bill passed by a 27-11 margin in the Senate, and a 62-47 vote in the House, mostly along party lines. According to the Associated Press, state Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer (D) said during the debate that she was raped 20 years ago.
“Thank God it didn’t result in a pregnancy because I can’t imagine going through what I went through and then having to consider what to do about an unwanted pregnancy from an attacker,” Whitmer was quoted as saying. “If this were law then and I had become pregnant, I would not be able to have coverage because of this. How extreme, how extreme does this measure need to be?”