Wednesday, August 17, 2011

ACLU Challenges Kansas Law Banning Insurance Coverage for Abortions

ACLU: ACLU Challenges Kansas Ban on Insurance Coverage for Abortions:

Law Takes Away Existing Coverage for Women

TOPEKA, Kan. – The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Kansas and Western Missouri filed a lawsuit today challenging a Kansas law that prohibits insurance companies from including coverage for abortion in their comprehensive plans. Since 2010, 13 states have enacted laws that prohibit some or all insurance policies from covering abortion care. Today’s lawsuit, ACLU of Kansas and Western Missouri v. Praeger, is the first to challenge one of these laws.

“Politicians should not interfere in what should remain a private medical decision,” said Kari Ann Rinker, state coordinator for the Kansas chapter of the National Organization for Women. Rinker’s insurance company will eliminate coverage for abortion in her plan because of the law. “For too long, my home state of Kansas has been the epicenter of an effort to erode a woman’s access to abortion. Enough is enough.”

The law prohibits comprehensive insurance plans from covering any abortion other than one to save a woman’s life. This part of the law does permit companies to offer a separate rider to cover non-lifesaving abortions for an additional cost. However, some insurers have indicated they will not offer such riders to some or all of their customers, leaving women to pay out of pocket for a service previously covered by insurance. . . .

Huffington Post: Kansas Abortion Insurance Restrictions Are Challenged In Court, by Laura Bassett:

The American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against a new Kansas law that bans the coverage of abortion as part of standard private health insurance plans. Of the 13 abortion coverage bans that have been passed in state legislatures since 2010, the Kansas law is the first to be challenged in court.

Eighty-seven percent of employer-based insurance policies nationwide covered abortion as of January 2011, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive health research organization. But Kansas lawmakers passed legislation in May that forces private insurance companies to remove abortion from the list of standard procedures they cover, except when the mother's life is at risk. A woman would have to buy a separate insurance plan to cover abortions in cases of rape or serious health risks, and some insurance companies have said they would not offer such a rider. . . .

Abortion, In the Courts, State and Local News | Permalink

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