Sixty House Republicans and one House Democrat have sponsored legislation that would block multi-state health plans from offering coverage for elective abortions.
The Hill reported that the legislation, the Stop Abortion Funding in Multi-state Exchange Plans (SAFE) Act, would amend the new federal health care law to ensure that health insurance exchanges would not cover abortion procedures. The health care reform law required all 50 states to set up a health insurance exchange system by 2014.
The bill was introduced in late April by Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO).
“The healthcare law signed by President Obama in 2010 marked the largest expansion of abortion since Roe v. Wade,” Americans United for Life Action President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest said. “But it is not too late to change course and prevent damage that the law will cause.”
Yoest said the bill would ensure that the new federal health care law was consistent with the Hyde Amendment, a federal law that bans the use of Medicaid funds to pay for abortion.
Like the Hyde Amendment, the SAFE Act would allow for exemptions if the pregnancy was the result of an act of rape or incest, or if the mother experienced certain medical conditions.