Lansing (MCC) - Michigan Catholic Conference released the following statement and call to action regarding taxpayer funded abortion:
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or the federal health care reform law passed in 2010, allows for individual states to offer health plans that include abortion coverage. States must then pass additional language, also known as opt-out measures, in order to prohibit taxpayer funding of abortion. Twenty-three states have already passed similar abortion-opt language, including Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Michigan residents have begun the process of purchasing insurance for the year 2014, as required by the Affordable Care Act. In order to prohibit taxpayers from paying for elective abortions in these insurance plans, a measure called the Abortion Insurance Opt-Out Act must be passed.
On October 4, the signatures of over 315,000 Michigan citizens were submitted to the Board of State Canvassers, well over the 258,088 required. The signatures indicated
widespread support throughout the state for this important policy, as the group turned in names from every county in the state and turned them in a month before their deadline. The petition signatures were verified and certified on December 2, sending the citizen-initiated measure to state lawmakers for consideration.
The Michigan Legislature now has 40 calendar days to consider the measure, Initiated Legislation 1 (IL 1), which can be introduced into either chamber. No amendments may be made to the language during this process, and a simple majority vote in both the Michigan Senate and House of Representatives is required for its approval into law. If either chamber fails to vote or votes “no,” the issue will be placed before the people as a ballot question in 2014. Michigan Catholic Conference is hopeful for its swift passage by Michigan lawmakers.
The Abortion Insurance Opt-Out Act would:
- Ensure that taxpayer dollars are not used to subsidize abortion coverage on health plans available through the forthcoming state health care exchange.
- Require an individual or employer wanting abortion coverage to purchase an optional rider.
Michigan Catholic Conference is supportive of the Abortion Insurance Opt-Out Act (IL 1), which will protect Michigan residents from subsidizing abortion through their tax dollars or insurance premiums. Action is needed as soon as possible to enact the opt-out before health plans on the state exchange provide coverage for abortions as an included benefit in January. Click here to listen to a message from MCC staff on the importance of this measure.
Click here to email your State Representative and State Senator today and encourage their support of the Abortion Insurance Opt-Out Act (IL 1).