Topeka Kansas asked a federal judge Wednesday to reject a claim that a new state law restricting insurance coverage for abortion discriminates against women.
Attorneys for state Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger said in court filings that the law “rationally” promotes several legitimate state interests, including “promoting childbirth over abortion.” Praeger is the only defendant in the lawsuit, filed in August by the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas and Western Missouri.
The new restrictions on insurance coverage were among several laws enacted this year in Kansas by anti-abortion majorities in the Legislature and Gov. Sam Brownback, a Republican abortion opponent who took office in January. Another law set out new regulations specifically for abortion providers, and two doctors who challenged those rules in federal court recently expanded their attack with a separate lawsuit in the state court system.
The law, which took effect July 1, prohibits insurance companies from offering abortion coverage as part of general health plans, except when a woman’s life is at risk, and patients wanting such coverage must buy supplemental, abortion-only policies.