Wichita A Kansas law restricting private insurance coverage for abortions has made it more difficult to obtain the procedure without doing much, if anything, to reduce overall insurance premiums or protect women’s health, the American Civil Liberties Union said Friday.
The ACLU made the claim in a federal court filing that, for the first time, documents the impact of a state law that took effect last year, prohibiting insurance companies from offering abortion coverage as part of general health plans, except when a woman’s life is at risk. Kansas residents who want coverage for abortions must buy supplemental policies, known as riders.
The ACLU has asked U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson to strike down the statute because its purpose is to make it more difficult for women to obtain abortions. The group claims the Kansas law robs women of their existing insurance coverage, forcing them to pay out of pocket for abortions and penalizing their exercise of a constitutional right.
“The Act does nothing to inform a woman’s choice; rather it obstructs it. It also does nothing to protect a woman’s health; in fact, it endangers it. It does not reduce the cost of health insurance in any meaningful way. Nor does it have anything to do with ensuring that individuals are not forced to ‘subsidize the cost’ of another person’s abortion or any of the other rationalizations Defendant has conjured up,” attorneys for the ACLU wrote.
Supporters of the insurance restrictions contended that people who oppose abortion shouldn’t be forced to pay for such coverage in a general health plan.