VA Governor Amends Insurance Exchange Bill to Ban Abortion Coverage
Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell (R) added an amendment to a bill passed by the state's general assembly that would prohibit private health insurance companies that participate in the state health exchange from covering abortion services, except in cases of rape, incest, and when the woman's life is endangered. The amendment would also ban women from using their own money to buy separate policy riders for abortion services.
Tarina Keene, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, stated, "Banning abortion coverage will only result in dangerous outcomes for Virginia women in need of serious medical care resulting from complex and sometimes life-threatening pregnancies. Such a devastating ban goes against the very purpose of insurance...when unforeseen and dangerous circumstances arise, every woman deserves to have all options available to them when making these difficult and life-saving decision."
The Virginia General Assembly will consider McDonnell's amendments on Wednesday of next week. According to the Guttmacher Institute, "87% of typical employer-based insurance policies in 2002 covered medically necessary or appropriate abortions."
Media Resources: Richmond Times Dispatch 4/1/11; Statement of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia 3/31/11; Washington Post 3/31/11; Guttmacher Fact Sheet 7/22/09
11/20/2014 Federal Appeals Court Rejects Priests for Life Challenge to Birth Control Coverage Rule - In a victory for women's health, a unanimous panel of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit on Friday rejected a challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) contraceptive coverage benefit brought by Priests for Life, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington and other religiously affiliated non-profit organizations.
Judge Nina Pillard, a former law professor who was nominated to the DC Circuit by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate in December, wrote the opinion for the Court, which found that the ACA birth control benefit did not substantially burden or violate non-profits' religious freedom.
Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurance companies must cover the full cost of all FDA-approved contraceptives - including the pill, IUDs, and emergency contraception - without requiring co-pays or cost-sharing. . . .