by Steven Ertelt
February 7, 2006
Topeka, KS (LifeNews.com) — The Kansas state House on Tuesday approved a health insurance plan for college students, but the taxpayer-funded initiative won’t pay for abortions. The plan will provide lower-cost health insurance to students attended Board of Regents universities in the state.
Under the measure, HB 2593, the regents could offer the health coverage to students and graduate students on the public campuses, but could not pay for abortions. The health policy is voluntary and students would pay for the premiums.
Rep. Dick Kelsey, a Republican, added the pro-life amendment to the bill, which the state House approved on a 72-50 vote. The House later approved the whole bill 85-35 and it will receive a final vote Wednesday to advance it to the Senate.
Kelsey told the Associated Press he didn’t think abortions ought to be funded with taxpayer dollars.
However, AP reports that abortion advocates, led by Assistant Minority Leader Jim Ward, a Democrat, said the provision would likely be challenged in court. He said that would make it more difficult for students to get the health coverage.
Kelsey altered his amendment to not ban coverage of contraception or the morning after pill, which can sometimes cause an abortion.
Helping college students avoid abortions has become a key issue for pro-life advocates because women in college have the highest abortion rates in the nation.
A new Congressional measure is intended to give them the financial and practical pregnant support necessary to help them avoid abortions.
Last November, pro-life lawmakers introduced the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Pregnant and Parenting Students Act of 2005.
The measure would establish a pilot program to provide $10 million for 200 grants to encourage institutions of higher education to establish and operate a pregnant and parenting student services office. The office would serve pregnant and parenting students and help students who are considering adoption instead of abortion.
According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, the research arm of Planned Parenthood, forty-five percent of women who have abortions are of college-age, 18-24 years old.
TAKE ACTION: Find out how your lawmakers voted and urge your state Senator to support the Kelsey amendment. You can find contact info at https://www.kslegislature.org