The State Assembly passed another bill today targeting women’s health care. This bill would prevent state health insurance programs from paying for abortions for state workers. Those who oppose the bill say it puts women’s lives in danger.
The bill, authored Republican Rep. André Jacque, R-De Pere, is still waiting on action from the Senate.
The legislation would bar the state’s Group Insurance Board from entering into a group health insurance plan contract or provide group health insurance plan on a self-insured basis that provides abortion services. There would be a few exceptions including cases of rape, incest, or instances where the mother’s life is in jeopardy.
It is unclear whether the bill would change already established practices. State plans currently only require coverage for medically necessary abortions.
Jacque says that the bill’s goal is to make sure taxpayer dollars are not used to fund elective abortions.
Democrats put forth two amendments to the bill. Neither of them passed. Once sought to remove language that required victims of rape or incest to report the incident to authorities before they can get an abortion covered by their insurance. Democratic Representative Chris Taylor says that women often don’t come forward in these situations because they are worried about not being believed or fear of retaliation.
Another amendment would’ve changed the language to make sure the bill wouldn’t limit women’s access to contraception. Jacque says that the bill doesn’t target contraception, but Taylor has concerns about the definition of abortion the bill uses. It defines abortion as “intent to terminate the pregnancy of a woman known to be pregnant or for whom there is reason to believe that she may be pregnant,” which Taylor concludes could target contraception.
Nina Kravinsky has more.