In the wake of health care reform becoming law, we have been gifted with numerous displays of Missouri’s good ole boys in the Grand Old Party trying their best to establish a little street cred with the right of the right wing. So far, the displays have been confined to relatively harmless posturing (nonbinding resolutions, constitutional amendments of dubious legality, etc.). Today, however, a Missouri Senate Committee took concrete steps to make sure that the state’s repressive status quo in regard to abortion continues by acting to take advantage of a provision in the federal legislation that allows states to keep the exchanges from offering abortion coverage:
The state Senate Small Business, Insurance and Industry Committee voted 5-1 Monday for legislation would ban any health insurance exchange from offering policies covering elective abortions — even if women are willing to pay an extra premium for the coverage. The legislation now goes to the Missouri Senate.
According to Planned Parenthood’s Michelle Trupiano, if this bill is passed by the Senate and signed by the Governor Nixon, none of which is out of the realm of possibility, the outlook for poorer women will be dire:
…it already is rare for Missouri women to be able to purchase an insurance policy addition for abortion coverage. So they often pay the full cost of an abortion, which she said is about $500 for a first-semester pregnancy.
For people covered through new health insurance exchanges, the Missouri legislation “leaves those particular women with no options for abortion coverage,” … .
What I want to know is where these jerks were when I wanted to keep my tax dollars out of worthless federally funded abstinence only sex education programs, or any of the Bush-era faith based initiatives that gave our tax money to groups like the Salvation Army while permitting them to prosyletize and discriminate against gays, Jews, Catholics, what-have-you, in their employment practices? Abortion is legal and the religious fanatics who oppose it should have no more standing than I do.