Bill would prohibit state health insurance plans from covering abortions

Bill would prohibit state health insurance plans from covering abortions
State Capitol

State employees could not have abortions paid for by their health insurance under a bill debated at the Capitol on Wednesday.

The author of the bill said state funds shouldn’t cover abortions even though some officials said the only abortions covered are those considered medically necessary.

The Assembly Health Committee heard testimony Wednesday on the bill that would prohibit the state’s group insurance board from contracting with an insurance company to cover abortion services.

“My God, we want women to be able to get the care they need. We all, I think, would want this, and not have these arbitrary definitions that you all think are needed,” said Rep. Chris Taylor, D-Madison.

Three anti-abortion groups support the bill, but the Wisconsin Medical Society and groups trying to end domestic abuse and sexual assault have lined up against it.

“We are trying to prohibit the taxpayers from subsidizing abortions, for paying for abortions,” said Rep. Andre Jacque, R-DePere. “There is clearly the support of our constituents, of many other states as well.”

The bill would allow some exceptions for abortions considered medically necessary to prevent grave health damage to the woman or for rapes, if they are reported to law enforcement.

A similar bill was introduced last session and did not pass. Eleven other states have similar laws on the books.