Pa. governor to ink bill banning abortion coverage by health exchanges

June 6, 2013 at 4:06 PM

HARRISBURG, Pa., June 6 (UPI) -- Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett has said he will sign a bill prohibiting the state's healthcare insurance exchanges from offering abortion coverage.

The state Senate voted 31-19 to approve the bill, which had already passed the House, the Pennsylvania Independent reported Thursday.

Corbett spokeswoman Christine Cronkright said in an email abortions would still be allowed in instances of rape, incest or if the life of the mother was at risk.

She said the bill would not "place any greater restrictions" on access to abortions.

The bill was in reaction to the federal Affordable Care Act, which gives states the option to create their own exchanges in lieu of a federal government-run program. ACA allows states to prohibit the exchanges from offering abortion coverage.

Corbett decided not to create a state exchange.

Senate Democrats had argued against the bill. Sen. Lisa Boscola said it "panders to single-issue voters" and would restrict the free market. Sen. Michael Stack said the law was "redundant" because other statutes already address abortions and their funding.

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