The House has passed a bill that would limit the amount of this coverage that could be obtained through the exchange.
A House committee in Pennsylvania has just given its approval to a bill that would restrict the coverage that is available for abortion under the health insurance exchange that is being established in the state under the Affordable Care Act.
The bill was passed following a vote that occurred essentially along party lines.
The vote passed the bill at 15 to 9, which will send the proposal forward. The Health Committee decided that the exceptions for the restrictions to the health insurance coverage for abortion would be given only when the life of the mother is threatened, and for victims of rape and incest.
Only one Democrat voted in favor of the restrictions to the health insurance coverage over the exchange.
Rep. Gerald Mullery (D-Luzerne County) was the only Democrat who voted in favor of this bill. Fellow Democrat, Mary Jo Daley (Montgomery County) unsuccessfully attempted to add an amendment to the bill that would have added an additional exception for the health of the mother, not just when her life was threatened.
According to the committee chairperson, Matt Baker (R-Tioga), said that the exception to the health insurance coverage would mark a considerable change from the longstanding public policy in the state that would not allow public funding to be sent toward abortion under the majority of circumstances. He also said that “I do not believe health care should include killing babies.”
Daley explained that without adding her amendment to the bill, physicians could find that they are faced with waiting periods before they will be able to actually recommend that an abortion take place. She said that they would be required to wait until the woman’s declines to the point that her life would be at risk before the doctors would be able to recommend abortions that will be covered by the health insurance.
Rep. Flo Fabrizio (D-Erie County) is the ranking Democrat on the committee that voted on the bill. She said that the current nature of the bill stops individuals from having to spend their money on what is a legal procedure. She said that “I find it incredulous that we’re debating something that is designed to protect the health of women.”