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Initiative Would Ban Abortion Coverage In Standard Insurance Policies

A proposal that would put new restrictions on insurance coverage for abortions is headed to the state Legislature.

The Michigan Board of State Canvassers on Monday moved forward a proposal that would ban abortion coverage in standard health insurance plans. Women would only be able to purchase abortion coverage as a separate rider.

Right to Life of Michigan, which circulated the petitions, is confident lawmakers will approve it in the coming weeks, “because similar legislation was brought up last year – it was voted on, a majority of the House and the Senate did pass it – and because we received a majority of the House and the Senate signatures on the petitions themselves,” said spokesperson Genevieve Marnon.

Governor Rick Snyder vetoed a similar measure last year, saying it would be an intrusion on the private healthcare market. But the voter-initiated law would not be subject to a veto.

Planned Parenthood of Michigan is lobbying against the initiative. Officials with the organization hope legislative leaders won’t make the proposal a priority as they finish their work for the year.

“If they really want to be focusing on bringing jobs to Michigan, fixing the economy, doing things that help Michigan, or if they really want to be focused on divisive issues that actually take health insurance coverage away from women and families in Michigan,” said Meghan Groen, director of government relations for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan.

State lawmakers have 40 days to approve the measure. If they don’t pass it, it will go to Michigan voters on the 2014 ballot.