Michigan Passes "Rape Insurance" Bill

[Content Note: War on agency; rape culture; class warfare.]

Last week, I mentioned proposed legislation in Michigan that "would prohibit insurers from including abortion coverage as a standard feature in health plans they sell in Michigan" and require women who want abortion coverage to purchase a separate rider. Michigan State Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer and other opponents of the legislation observed that the legislation would essentially oblige women and other people who can get pregnant with purchasing what amounted to rape insurance, so they have abortion coverage in the case of pregnancy resulting from rape.

Well, the state has passed the legislation into law. It will ban all insurance plans from including abortion coverage unless the pregnant person's life is in danger, and will indeed "force women and employers to purchase a separate abortion rider if they would like the procedure covered, even in cases of rape and incest."
Supporters of the "Abortion Insurance Opt-Out Act" argue that it allows people who are opposed to abortion to avoid paying into a plan that covers it. Opponents have nicknamed it the "rape insurance" initiative, because it would force some women to anticipate the possibility of being raped by purchasing the extra abortion insurance ahead of time.

"This tells women who were raped … that they should have thought ahead and planned for it," said Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer (D-East Lansing) during debates. "Make no mistake, this is anything but a citizens' initiative. It's a special interest group's perverted dream come true."

The Michigan State Legislature first passed the measure last year, but Governor Rick Snyder (R) vetoed it, saying he does not "believe it is appropriate to tell a woman who becomes pregnant due to a rape that she needed to select elective insurance coverage."

But the anti-abortion group Right to Life of Michigan was able to collect more than 300,000 voter signatures on a petition this year to force a second vote on the measure. Having been passed by both chambers, the bill automatically becomes law now, even without Snyder's approval.
I anticipate this legislation will be challenged in court. I hope a judge will issue an injunction prohibiting enactment of the law until its fate is decided in court. Because, in the meantime, this garbage law means that women who can least afford an unwanted pregnancy are most at risk of being forced to carry one to term, unless they somehow find a way to scrape together the money for, and can justify the expense for, insurance they might not ever need.

This is utterly despicable. It isn't enough for these assholes to be "pro-life" for themselves; they have to force everyone else to bend to their personal preferences, too.

(At least, their personal preferences until their daughter gets pregnant, etc.)

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