State health care legislation discriminates against rape victims

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Abortion remains a controversial issue with little in the way of an acceptable compromise from opposing sides. Regardless of how one may feel about the issue, women’s rights are involved. Men never have to worry about getting pregnant and can never really understand the emotional, psychological and physical issues involved. Granted, I myself am against abortion, but I respect the current laws in place and realize that abortion cannot ever be fully banned. I also realize there are completely relevant medical reasons for having an abortion.

Obviously there are still those out there who would place their own religious beliefs above the needs of a woman. There are those who still have an archaic view of women and sexual reproduction. Bill 2075, which the governor signed on May 25 according to kslegislature.org, concerns insurance and health care decisions. According to the bill, elective abortions, or abortions not necessary to preserve the life of the mother, cannot be covered by health insurance. Specifically, health insurance exchanges established in Kansas or by the federal government cannot cover any abortions, not even with an insurance rider. For other health insurances that don’t fall into those categories, elective abortions still cannot be covered without first purchasing a rider for them. An insurance rider provides extra coverage beyond the standard insurance policy.

The state government is telling private companies what they can and cannot cover. The same far-reaching arm that the federal government has been using to force its agenda on the private sector is now being wielded by the state government by the same people that were scolding the federal government for their actions. Other states are doing the same. Nebraska’s governor just signed a very similar bill into law on May 18, according to nebraskalegislature.gov.

According to a May 13 Associated Press article in the McPherson Sentinel, Rep. Barbara Bollie, R-District 25 objected to the measure saying it forced rape and incest victims to plan ahead of actions that were out of their control.

Rep. Peter DeGraaf, R-District 81, from Mulvane, Kan., compared buying insurance for abortion to being prepared for a flat tire, saying he has a spare tire for his car and he plans ahead for the future. The attitude demonstrated by DeGraaf is a reprehensible one.

Basically, the state is trying to limit abortions without banning them. State legislatures know that without insurance, women will be limited. A woman shouldn’t have to choose between putting food on the table and paying for an abortion. It’s discriminatory on the basis of sex, especially since elective lifestyle prescriptions for men like Viagra and Cialis are covered by most insurance programs, including Medicare. Most women can see the value in preventative measures like birth control and utilize those measures, but sometimes there are instances where becoming pregnant is completely out of the individual’s control, like rape. That is something not so easily preventable, unlike eating well and exercising to avoid health problems or getting screened for congenital diseases.

This bill discriminates against women by sending them a message that they should prepare to be raped, that they should just expect that men will attack or take advantage of them and that our own precautions aren’t enough. If that is not enough to upset you, then maybe knowing that the government is completely overstepping its bounds will. Maybe if every woman who can’t afford an abortion because of this goes on welfare because of their unplanned children, the state will change its mind once they realize they will have to pay for their poor taste in legislation.

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