Yesterday Michigan won an important pro-life victory.
It started this summer, when over 315,000 registered voters, representing every county in Michigan, signed the NO Taxes for Abortion Insurance Petition, making it clear that the people of Michigan do not believe that abortion is health care and we do not want to pay for it.
On December 11, both the Michigan House and Senate passed this petition as the Abortion Insurance Opt-Out Act, with the House voting 62-47 and the Senate voting 27-11. According to this act, elective abortion will no longer be a standard benefit in health plans. Abortion coverage will be available only by purchasing a separate rider. This act also ensures that our tax dollars and insurance premiums will not go toward funding abortions.
Because the Abortion Insurance Opt-Out Act was initiated by citizens, as allowed by the Michigan Constitution, it does not require the governor’s signature to become law. Governor Rick Snyder refused to sign this legislation last year because the bill did not contain a rape exception, and he felt that it intruded on the private insurance market. Believing that a child’s life is precious regardless of the circumstances in which he or she was conceived, Michigan pro-lifers began collecting signatures, knowing that with just over 258,000 signatures on a petition in 180 days’ time, and a majority in both the House and Senate, this bill could become law despite the governor’s veto. Right to Life of Michigan led the petition drive and gathered over 315,000 signatures in just 120 days.
The Affordable Care Act requires all the states to have health care exchanges (also called marketplaces) available by 2014. The ACA allows states to exclude abortion as a covered benefit in these insurance exchanges through legislation like the Abortion Insurance Opt-Out Act. Michigan is the 24th state to exclude abortion coverage from its insurance plans through this provision.
The Abortion Insurance Opt-Out act will go into effect in March 2014.
This law not only protects the lives of unborn children, by making abortion less accessible in some cases, it also protects the consciences of Michigan’s pro-life people. We believe that human life is sacred, from the moment of conception until natural death. This legislation ensures that we will not have to fund the destruction of children’s lives through abortion.
“Abortion is not true health care and people who object will not have to contribute their own tax dollars or insurance premiums to for elective abortions,” said Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing, speaking of the Abortion Insurance Opt-Out Act. “This law is instrumental in preserving our long standing tradition of protecting the conscience rights of Michigan citizens before the Affordable Care Act takes full effect in 2014.” Listing also recognized the hard work of many pro-life volunteers in the state. “We are thankful for the hundreds of thousands of dedicated volunteers and pro-life citizens who made this law possible. We applaud the legislators who stood firm in their resolve and voted to ensure no person is forced to fund the deliberate taking of an innocent human life in the name of health care.”
Thank you to everyone who signed the NO Taxes for Abortion Insurance Petition! Your participation in this initiative has helped to protect both the lives of unborn children and the consciences of Michigan citizens through this important pro-life victory!