The Assembly Health Committee is advancing a bill that would ban state employee health plans from covering elective abortion procedures.
Democrats, like state Representative Lisa Subeck (D-Madison), argued it will limit the reproductive health care options of women employed by the state. “Women and their physicians, and their families, and those they choose to guide them…should be the ones making those decisions,” she said. “Not their insurance plan, not their employer, and not legislators.”
State Representative Joe Sanfelippo (R-New Berlin) was among Republicans who countered that women can still have an abortion, if they pay for it. “Determining who is going to pay for a procedure is not automatically cutting off access…if a person wants a procedure, they have a responsibility to make sure it gets paid for,” he said.
Rep. Andre Jacque (R-De Pere), the sponsor of the bill, also noted that it brings state employee plans in line with restrictions already in place for many other taxpayer-funded coverage options, at both the state and federal levels.
The bill does include exemptions for rape, incest, and when the life of the mother is at risk. It passed out of committee on a party-line vote and now heads to the full Assembly.