- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 19, 2017

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The Latest on proposal to ban state health insurance coverage for abortions (all times local):

2:45 p.m.

Opposition to a Republican-backed bill that would prohibit Wisconsin state health insurance from covering abortions for state workers is growing.

The Wisconsin Medical Society and groups fighting domestic abuse and sexual assault registered Wednesday in opposition to the measure as the Assembly Health Committee held a hearing on the measure.

Three anti-abortion groups are supporting the Republican-backed bill.

Bill sponsor Rep. Andre Jacque says that the measure he’s sponsoring doesn’t prevent state employees from obtaining an abortion, they just couldn’t use their state health insurance to pay for it.

Opponents argue that the ban amounted to politicians making medical decisions for women because it creates a roadblock for some people getting an abortion.

Eleven other states have similar laws.


11:19 a.m.

Abortions would no longer be covered by health insurance plans for Wisconsin state employees under a Republican-backed bill working its way through the Legislature.

But it’s unclear whether the measure up for a hearing Wednesday will win approval this year even with stronger Republican majorities when it failed to pass in 2013.

And even if it does pass, the impact of such a ban could be minimal.

That’s because the state currently requires health plans to cover only therapeutic abortions for its members.

How those are defined is left up to the health plan, but they generally are only those considered to be medically necessary. That’s according to Nancy Ketterhagen, spokeswoman for the Department of Employee Trust Funds which administers state worker benefits.

The bill is backed by anti-abortion groups.



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