GOP led Wisconsin legislature votes to ban private abortion coverage
The Republican led Wisconsin assembly voted to ban private insurance coverage for abortions and mandate abstinence-only sex education classes Wednesday morning, according to The Green Bay Post Gazette.
The Assembly voted 61-34 Tuesday evening to ban abortion coverage from a health insurance exchange set up by the Affordable Care Act in 2014. The federal law allows states the option to prohibit abortion coverage under the exchange, set up primarily by individuals and small businesses to buy health insurance coverage. Plans offered in the exchange would only cover abortions under the terms of the Hyde Amendment (rape, incest or when the health of the mother is at risk).
Rep. Donna Seidel (D) chastised Republicans for not focusing on the economy and creating jobs, feeling Wisconsin’s residents would be disappointment with the assembly’s focus.
“They feel let down,” Seidel said. “And what are we doing in these last hours to get that important work done? We are arguing about advancing an extreme social agenda that is nothing about that.”
RH Reality Check’s Andy Kopsa described the vote would “eliminate coverage for abortion services in Wisconsin even when individual citizens are using their own dollars to purchase private insurance.”
The Assembly also voted 60-34 to overturn the Healthy Young Act, which required Wisconsin schools to teach sex education classes about contraception information along with abstinence-centered education. Instead, the vote will allow schools to provide abstinence-only classes.
Both bills are expected to be signed by Governor Scott Walker.
Eight other states have already restricted abortion coverage in all private insurance plans, according to the Guttmacher Institute.