The state of Connecticut declared abortion an "essential health benefit" last week and, as a result, the procedure must be covered by the state's health exchange under the Affordable Care Act. A state health panel voted unanimously to consider all abortions - not just abortions in cases of rape, incest, or to save the woman's life - essential health benefits that must be covered by Connecticut's insurance plans when the state's health exchange goes into effect in 2014.
Jennifer Jaff, executive director of Advocacy for Patients with Chronic Illness and a member of the advisory committee that is setting up the insurance exchange, praised the decision, saying "this issue is favorably resolved for all women now in Connecticut. Stripping women of elective abortions is not a tenable option." Victoria Vetri, Connecticut's healthcare advocate, said that the decision is "a matter of health. We wanted to protect a woman's right to choose."
Private insurance plans in Connecticut already cover abortion for any reason, Vetri told Connecticut Mirror. Under the Affordable Care Act, health plans across the country will be required by 2014 to cover certain essential health benefits, as determined by each state individually. Businesses and individuals have the option of purchasing the state's plan. The federal employees' health plan does not include coverage for abortions.
Media Resources: ThinkProgress 6/11/12; Care2 6/11/12; The Connecticut Mirror 6/8/12
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .
8/25/2015 Fraternity Signs Promote Rape Culture, Elicit Outrage - Old Dominion University (ODU) in Virginia is receiving national attention for a fraternity's vulgar and offensive signs that were on display as first-year students moved into their dorms.
The signs, which were hung on fraternity Sigma Nu and displayed derogatory messages for incoming female students- and their mothers- have since been removed, and the University has promised disciplinary action. . . .