Crossposted from DemocraticDiva.com
Arizona bill SB1318, which requires doctors to pass on medically dubious information about “abortion reversal”, also bans coverage of abortion in private insurance plans, even if a policy holder has purchased an entirely separate rider with her own money which does not sully the pristine money of “taxpayers” – a group that (again) apparently does not include women who use any reproductive health care not directly related to having babies.
The bill went for third read on the House floor, the last step before before being transmitted to Governor Ducey, who is certain to sign it, and was passed on a 33/24 party line vote. I listened to the testimony at work and heard the Democrats valiantly (as always) trying to explain why it was a bad idea on several levels Republican Rep. Steve Montenegro waxed lugubriously about the need to “do everything possible to ensure a child has every opportunity to have it’s first breath!” and Rep. JD Mesnard anti-choicesplained, “We all know how accounting gimmicks work!” (He clearly doesn’t.)
Rep. Kelly Townsend, the prime sponsor of the bill, repeatedly reminded the floor that majorities of Americans polled disapprove of taxpayer funding for abortion, which happens to be the exact opposite of what a separate rider purchased by a woman with her own damn after-tax money is. Townsend counts on mainstream America’s discomfort with letting women they perceive to be “slutty” get away with it and how most people don’t have the bandwidth to investigate a constant barrage of anti-choice bullshit claims carefully.
Thus, a woman’s own money magically becomes “taxpayer dollars. If she does need an abortion, despite having insurance that she pays for herself via premiums and despite being a taxpayer herself, she must scrape together the entire cost of the procedure. That could run anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, depending upon how early in the pregnancy term it was and what, if any, complications in the pregnancy there were. If the pregnancy threatens her health in a substantial way, but not her life or a major organ (and no, her mental health won’t count since lady brains aren’t major organs, according to every anti-choicer ever), no coverage for her. If the fetus is severely deformed, even if the deformity is incompatible with life outside the womb, no coverage. There is lip service in the bill to coverage in the case of rape or incest but no explanation of how, exactly, a patient might obtain such an exception. Good luck, traumatized rape victim, in enlisting your insurance adjuster to sign off on your claim. This was something that Rep. Victoria Steele (D) tried to make clear to her colleagues when she shared her own harrowing ordeal with sexual abuse as a child. A “rape exception” is worth absolutely nothing if you have no meaningful way to access it.
As I’ve explained before, anti-abortion legislators are aiming to attack access by erasing the very idea that women work and contribute to the common good. You are meant to see the women they are targeting as these lazy, yet incredibly calculating and grasping creatures, gobbling up your hard-earned tax dollars. And their own money is merely pin money. It should come as no surprise that they think they control women’s money, since anti-choicers already think they own our bodies.