COLUMBUS, Ohio, June 5 (UPI) -- The Ohio state legislature is considering House Bill 351 which would ban insurance plans from covering abortions for all Ohioans and certain forms of contraception for public sector workers and Medicaid recipients.
It would ban insurance, both public and private, from covering abortions even in the case of rape, incest, and a threat to the mother's life, reports the Columbus Dispatch. The only exception would be in cases of ectopic or tubal pregnancies.
Republican State Rep. John Becker, the sponsor of the bill, said he included IUDs and emergency contraception because they prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg, which he equates to an abortion.
"This is just a personal view. I'm not a medical doctor," he said on the exclusion of Plan B and IUDs.
Rep. John Carney, D-Ohio, said "it's just a fact" that IUDs don't cause an abortion and the law is "very disrespectful to the women of our state." He also said the choice to have an abortion in cases of rape and incest should be made by doctors, not bureaucrats, and should be covered.
Becker responded by saying the "right to life" of a fetus "trumps those other issues" and that rapists should be executed rather than the human products of their crime.
"Every day in this state, women face the complex decision of whether to choose adoption, end a pregnancy, or raise a child," said Stephanie Kight, the president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio. "When they need guidance, women turn to their family members, their faith leaders and their healthcare providers. They don't turn to their legislators. Politicians have no place in this decision-making process, and that includes using financial restrictions to force a woman's decision.
An article by Vox argues that the bill attempts to stop low-income women from accessing some of the most effective forms of birth control.
According to Planned Parenthood, abortions can cost anywhere from $300 to $1,700 during the first trimester. Emergency contraception, which is not recommended for regular birth control, costs between $30 and $65, and IUDs range from $500 to $1,000.
The bill would also prevent any woman receiving money from state or local funds from purchasing additional insurance that would cover an abortion in the case of rape, a practice in Michigan dubbed by its critics as "rape insurance."