Kansas House Approves Amendment to Ban Insurance Coverage of Abortion
by Steven Ertelt
February 17, 2010
Topeka, KS (LifeNews.com) — The Kansas state House has approved an amendment that would prohibit insurance companies from automatically covering abortions under their plans except in very rare instances. The language moves in the other direction from the Congressional health care bill that funds abortions.
Under the amendment, state residents who don’t want their insurance premiums to pay for abortions would be protected and people who want to get abortions would pay for them with their own money by purchasing a rider for such coverage.
Rep. Peter DeGraaf, a Republican, proposed the language today and the state House signed off on it on a 73-45 vote.
"I don’t think the rest of society should have to pay for abortions," DeGraaf said according to the Topeka Capital Journal. "I believe the insurance industry will respond to this need."
The debate on the measure produced a tenuous debate today as Reps. Cindy Neighbor, Marti Crow, and Annie Kuether, all Democrats, attacked DeGraaf for offering the amendment.
"I find it reprehensible we’re having this discussion," Kuether said. "This is ludicrous. Absolutely ludicrous. We should be embarrassed we’re discussing this."
But the newspaper indicated Rep. Peggy Mast, a Republican, defended DeGraaft saying Kansans who object to abortions shouldn’t be forced to pay for them through their insurance policy premiums.
"For those of us who believe it’s a moral issue," she said, "it’s discriminatory to force us to pay higher insurance rates."
Rep. Kasha Kelley, also argued that business owners who don’t want to be forced to pay for abortions through the health insurance coverage they provide should be able to opt out of doing so.
The amendment was a modified version of House Bill 2564, a stand-alone bill Rep. Rep. Virgil Peck sponsored.
Kansans for Life, a statewide pro-life group, previously told LifeNews.com it strongly supports the measure and that, since 1978, abortion has been excluded from standard health care policies in seven other states.
"In 2007, Kansas joined nine other states in freeing their taxpayers from paying for abortion in state employee insurance plans," KFL said. "However, too many private businesses in Kansas remained frustrated that they were unable to offer abortion-free policies to their staff."
Those states include neighbors Missouri and Oklahoma and Rhode island has a similar law but it has been blocked by the courts.
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