Governor Brewer Makes Arizona First to Drop Abortion Funding in Health Care
by Steven Ertelt
April 26, 2010
Phoenix, AZ (LifeNews.com) — State legislators in Tennessee may have beaten their colleagues in Arizona in passing a law to allow the state to opt out of some of the abortion funding in the government-run health care bill President Barack Obama signed. But Governor Jan Brewer made Arizona officially the first to have the bill become law.
As pro-life advocates in Tennessee wait for Governor Bredesen to decide if he will sign the bill there into law, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer wasted little time signing her state’s version.
On Saturday at the Center for Arizona Policy Family dinner before 1600 guests, Brewer signed SB 1305 to opt Arizona out of abortion coverage in any insurance exchanges created by the new federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
The first-in-the-nation law further clarifies current Arizona law prohibiting taxpayer funding of abortion by prohibiting state and local governments from offering abortion insurance coverage in employee benefit plans.
“Arizonans, like most Americans, do not want their tax dollars paying for elective abortions,” said Center for Arizona Policy President Cathi Herrod. “With this new law, Arizona is leading the charge to protect our right not to pay for abortions, a procedure most find morally reprehensible.”
More than two dozen other states are considering similar legislation.
The legislation has Arizona opting out of using state tax money to pay for abortions in state health care exchanges — though other abortion funding in the government-run health care bill can’t be suppressed by state efforts.
Under the new health care law, states will be in charge of their own health care exchanges that are available for individuals and small businesses. The new law will keep any insurance plans on the state exchanges from offering abortion coverage.
Last week, Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen received a bill that protects taxpayers from paying some of the abortion funding.
Bredesen is a Democrat who supports legal abortions and pro-life advocates in the state are hoping he will be signing the bill.
The Senate voted 27-3 for the bill after the Tennessee state House voted 70-23 for it.
The exchange doesn’t go into effect until 2014 and states are filing lawsuits seeking to stop the pro-abortion health care bill in its other pro-abortion provisions entirety, but states are moving now to exercise their right to opt out of some of the abortion funding.
Americans United for Life and other pro-life groups are assisting legislators in other states and dozens may ultimately wind up voting on similar provisions over the coming months and years.
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