The War on Women continues…
Graphic by Anne C. Savage, special to Eclectablog.
NOTE: this post has been corrected as noted below. There is also an update with a link to Planned Parenthood’s petition.
Thanks to a petition drive that resulted in 4.2% of Michiganders voicing their minority opinion, Michigan is about to become a place where women have to plan ahead for their abortions. If you become pregnant accidentally or if you are raped and become pregnant and haven’t purchased a separate abortion coverage rider on your health insurance, you won’t be covered. This isn’t just for state government insurance plans or those purchased on the health insurance exchange. It’s for EVERY insurance plan available in the state.
A controversial initiative that would require women to buy an additional rider on their health insurance if they wanted abortion coverage is one short step away from going to the Legislature, where it is likely to easily become law.
Because no one filed a challenge by Monday’s deadline to the more than 315,000 signatures turned in to the Secretary of State, an initiative that would prohibit abortion coverage from being included in standard insurance policies will go forward.
And the Secretary of State certified Monday that Michigan Right to Life, which spearheaded the petition drive, has more than enough valid signatures to start the ball rolling on the new state law. A minimum of 258,088 valid signatures were needed. The anti-abortion activists turned in 315,477 signatures. And the Secretary of State’s elections division estimated that 299,941 of the signatures are valid.
The state Board of Canvassers will meet at 9:30 a.m. Dec. 2 to certify the signatures and then the petition moves to the state Legislature, which has 40 days to approve, reject or do nothing with the legislative ballot initiative.
The good news for Republicans is that they don’t have to do a thing and don’t have to go on record as having been a willing participant in this effort to further restrict women in Michigan from obtaining a safe and legal abortion. If they do nothing, it becomes law. If they pass it, it becomes law. Only if they vote it down, which they surely will not do given their ideologically extreme views, will it not become law. The other 95.8% of us won’t have a say and neither will Governor Snyder.
CORRECTION: If Republicans vote it down or fail to act on it, it will be a ballot iniatitive in the next general election. Neither of these is likely given their ideologically extreme views. If they pass it, it becomes law. The other 95.8% of us won’t have a say and neither will Governor Snyder.
Don’t tell me there isn’t a War on Women in Michigan being waged by religious conservatives in our state. The evidence is right before you.
UPDATE: As Amy points out in the comments, Planned Parenthood has a petition going asking legislators to allow ALL Michigan voters to have a say in this. You can sign the petition HERE.
UPDATE 2: As it turns out, more Michigan voters oppose this law than support it.