Abortion Insurance Reform Passes Kansas Legislature

Kansas state Rep. Pete DeGraaf

A Kansas insurance bill, HB 2075, composed of four different measures, was passed in the waning hours of the 2011 session. It included a pro-life bill introduced last year by Rep. Pete DeGraaf (R) that removes abortion from automatic coverage under standard private health plans.

Effective July 1, Kansas private health insurance plans will only cover abortions done to save the life of the mother.  Kansas insurers will be allowed to offer abortion coverage only through individually-purchased riders. The AP reported that such riders have cost $2.

Blue Cross of Kansas City long ago implemented this abortion exclusion in private plans across the state line in eastern Kansas, because Missouri passed this law in 1983. 7 other states limit abortion in private health insurance plans.

The insurance restriction makes sense because pregnancy is not a disease and abortion is not healthcare. Many businesses have complained about having to pay for elective abortions in the health plans they purchase for their employees

“It is anything but unreasonable to insist that morally opposed individuals and businesses be freed from underwriting abortions, especially now that official Kansas statistics show fully 40% of abortions are performed on women who’ve had one, two, three or more before,” said Kansans for Life (KFL) Executive Director, Mary Kay Culp.

Public support continues to decrease for direct and indirect funding of abortion.  68% of respondents to a September 2009 International Communications Research poll answered “no” to the question, “If the choice were up to you, would you want your own insurance policy to include abortion”; 24% answered “yes.”  A majority of Americans in a February 2011 Rasmussen Reports telephone survey say they believe abortion is morally wrong — and that includes a good percentage of people who call themselves “pro-choice on abortion.”

The language of HB 2075 would also prevent any future ‘Obamacare’ state health exchanges from including abortion coverage. If the new federal healthcare law is not struck down, the state exchanges will begin in 2014, and states are allowed to prevent abortion coverage.

This is the fourth pro-life bill passed in Kansas this year.  Gov. Sam Brownback has already signed two, and the third, the abortion clinic licensure bill, H sub SB 36, will be signed imminently.

“It has obviously been a good legislative session; long-needed bills were passed to correct fraudulent abortion reporting, and to protect women from dangerous abortion clinics that have acted above the law,” KFL legislative Director Kathy Ostrowski said. “We have established a beachhead of protection for the developing unborn child based on accurate medical knowledge about the human capacity to feel pain and responded to the public’s ever-growing revulsion to direct and indirect funding of abortion businesses.”

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