Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe said Thursday he’ll sign into law legislation prohibiting insurers from covering most abortions in an exchange created under the federal health care law, as lawmakers advanced a separate measure banning the procedure 12 weeks into a pregnancy.
Beebe said he’d sign the restriction on abortion coverage moments after the Senate gave final approval of the legislation by a 25-9 vote. Beebe also stepped up his criticism of the 12-week ban that cleared a House panel vote later that day.
The coverage ban includes exemptions for rape, incest and to save the life of the mother. The bill also allows abortion coverage through supplemental policies, but the bill’s opponents say that option is not available in Arkansas. Beebe said he believes the legislation merely restates existing law banning public money for abortions.
But opponents of the measure say that since separate riders for abortions aren’t available in Arkansas, the proposal would effectively prevent women who buy insurance coverage through the exchange from purchasing policies using their own money that would cover abortions. Supporters of the measure say 18 other states have passed similar restrictions.
Source: San Francisco Chronicle