This morning, State Rep. Victoria Steele testified that she was a victim of sexual assault as a child, during a hearing in the State House Committee. The Federalism and States' Rights Committee went on to pass a bill that prohibits health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act from providing abortion coverage.
“This bill would require women who are seeking an abortion after being traumatized by rape or incest to share personal, private and emotional information with an insurance company if they want coverage for the procedure. It will force victims to suffer another trauma. Telling my story today was difficult, and I have had years to deal with and recover from the incident. I can’t imagine the position this legislation would put recent victims in if they attempt to get medical care,” Steele said
. “Additionally, this bill endangers doctors who provide a legal, medical service to women by making the doctors’ personal information public. The bill is inappropriate on many levels. Politicians should not be creating laws that target women and doctors.”
The committee also approved an amendment that requires abortion providers to tell women they have the option to reverse the effects of abortion medication in case they change their minds, The Associated Press reported.
Supporters of SB 1318
, sponsored by Republican state Sen. Nancy Barto of Phoenix, say tax dollars shouldn't support abortions
From the Center for Arizona Policy, a conservative group that's been watching this bill like a hawk:
In 2010, Arizona became the first state to opt out of providing abortion coverage through the ACA when it passed SB 1305 into law. Since the ACA passed, 23 states have restricted the circumstances under which plans on their exchanges may provide coverage for elective abortions – 17 of those states prohibiting abortion coverage altogether.
With the latest statistics showing that “nearly 90 percent of people who bought health insurance in the second year of Obamacare qualify for government help to pay their premiums,” prohibiting abortion coverage on a state’s exchange ensures taxpayers are not forced to subsidize abortion.
Many others argue this is just another intrusion of conservative lawmakers into women's health care decisions and rights.
The state Senate's Health and Human Services Committee passed the bill last month
. It now moves to the House for a constitutional review.