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Michigan's 'rape insurance' law goes into effect

The law would require women to purchase separate insurance if they choose to have an abortion with the exception if there is proven danger to the woman's life.
By Aileen Graef Follow @AileenGraef Contact the Author   |   March 14, 2014 at 1:39 PM

Michigan's controversial Abortion Insurance Opt-Out law went into effect Thursday, implementing new insurance requirements for abortions.

Supporters of the law say that it allows people who oppose abortion to choose plans that do not cover the procedure. Opponents of the so-called "rape insurance law" say that it would require a woman to predict a rape and purchase insurance before a sexual assault if she chose to have an abortion.

"This law unfairly punishes women simply for being women," state Rep. Marcia Hovey-Wright, chairwoman of the Women’s Democratic Caucus, said in a statement. “Women deserve the same access to full health care as men receive, but only women are told they must buy extra insurance to get it."

The debate got highly emotional when Michigan Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer begged her colleagues to vote against the measure after revealing that she was raped in college.

Republican Gov. Rick Snyder has vetoed the legislation before but Michigan's Right to Life organization used the citizens' initiative petition process to waiver the requirement of signature from Snyder.

This state measure is part of a larger push to make insurance exceptions to abortions and contraception, including the case of Citizens v. Hobby Lobby which is being heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.


[HuffPost Live]

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