Pennsylvania Senate to Consider Abortion Coverage Ban


The Pennsylvania senate will soon consider a bill that would ban abortion coverage in any of the insurance plans in the state health care exchange, WHTM reports. The bill’s proponents refer to it as a safeguard against alleged taxpayer-funded abortion.

State Sen. Don White (R-Indiana), the sponsor of SB 3, said in a news release, “Under the Federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, states have the authority to prohibit certain abortion coverage made available in these taxpayer subsidized health plans and we intend to exercise that authority. This is not a new step for Pennsylvania, but rather a continuation of existing law.”

“I want to make this clear, Senate Bill 3 does not ban abortions, nor does it bar insurance coverage offered in the private sector from covering abortions,” added White.

Although abortion coverage could theoretically be purchased separately and paid for out-of-pocket, it remains unclear how exactly that would happen. Kim Custer, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Northeast, Mid-Penn and Bucks County, told the Morning Call that it would be difficult, if not impossible, for women to find additional out-of-pocket coverage for abortion and that “it’s not something women generally plan for.” Custer also pointed out that since the state exchanges are meant to set up separate accounts to pay for abortion coverage, White’s measure wasn’t necessary to avoid taxpayer funding of abortion.

White chairs the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee, which passed the bill 8 to 5.

Pennsylvania is the latest state to explore curbing safe abortion access via state health exchanges and eliminating abortion coverage in insurance plans. Recently, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) introduced amendments to ban all abortion coverage in insurance plans, even if purchased out-of-pocket. Those amendments passed both the state house and senate.

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  • cjvg

    So what about us tax payers who want our tax dollars used for full medical coverage for women?!
    If the anti-choice crowd and the religious objection crowd gets their wishes honored why don’t the rest of us get to chose?

    I do not want my tax payer dollars spend on covering the needs of churches and their business, no one cares I still have to fill the hole their ridiculous and excessive tax exemptions leave!
    These churches, religious day cares, colleges, hospitals etc, have millions in profit and they still don’t pay for the infrastructure, fire department, police department etc services they use.
    Were are the moral objections for people like me that are strenuously opposed to these religious money suckers?!

    And on top of that they are also receiving plenty of grants and subsidies to promote their religious discrimination and inadequate sub-par medical care.
    So when does the rest of us get to pick and chose were our tax dollars are going?