Senate bill prohibits funding of abortions

The state Senate voted 35-18 Monday to pass legislation that would prohibit the state employees’ insurance plan and health insurance exchanges that are part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) from providing coverage for abortions.

SB 98 now moves to the House of Representatives. If the bill passes the House and is signed into law, it would likely be challenged in federal court.

The bill states that “no abortion coverage shall be provided by a qualified health plan offered within the State of Georgia through a state law, a federal law, or regulation or exchange created by the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.”

SB 98 is one of several measures introduced by conservative Republican lawmakers this session that attempts to roll back or halt the implementation of the ACA, also known as Obamacare.

The bill makes no exceptions for pregnancies that occur because of rape or incest. Senate Republicans engrossed the bill so that Democratic lawmakers could not introduce amendments to allow these exceptions.

Democratic opponents called the bill part of an ongoing “war on women” by the Republican Party, but supporters said the measure merely tried to cut off government funding for abortions.

“The war has been on innocent babies since 1973,” said Sen. John Albers (R-Roswell). “Georgia taxpayers do not need to and should not ever have to fund an abortion.”

“SB 98 is not an abortion bill, despite what the opponents will tell you,” said Sen. Judson Hill (R-Marietta). “It solely concerns how tax dollars are used.”

“Once again, we have the false argument being made about a war on women,” said Sen. Josh McKoon (R-Columbus). “All this bill does is prohibit coverage for abortion under insurance exchanges set up under the Affordable Care Act.”

“This bill threatens to re-initiate the attacks on our teachers,” Sen. Horacena Tate (D-Atlanta) said. “This is yet another hit to our state employees. Is this how you want to treat our public school teachers? We women will not stand for this.”

“Senate Bill 98 is part of an outright assault on women,” Sen. Gloria Butler (D-Stone Mountain) said.

Democratic women in the Senate attempted to place coat hangers on every senator’s desk, but the coat hangers were removed.

“We’re going to raise the coat hanger as a symbol of the bad old days – we’re not going back there,” Sen. Nan Orrock (D-Atlanta) said.

Sen. Valencia Seay (D-Riverdale) evoked the period when slavery was still legal and said, “we as women were property of the master and a lot of women were raped.”

© 2014 by The Georgia Report


Tags: abortion coverage , ACA , John Albers , Josh McKoon , Judson Hill , Nan Orrock , Obamacare , Valencia Seay