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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

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Amelia KashianFebruary 22, 2024

‘Rape Insurance’ assault on women

Public Act 182 of 2013, known as the “Rape Insurance Bill” was passed on Wednesday Dec. 11 and has taken effect this March. This bill requires a separate rider to be purchased for health insurance for abortion including in cases of incest or rape.

Kat Klawes
Kat Klawes

The “citizen-initiated” law, backed by Right to Life of Michigan, will take effect in March without crossing the governor’s desk or appearing on the statewide ballot next year. Michigan Right to Life was able to gather enough signatures representing a mere 4.2 percent of Michigan voters to put a bill before the state legislature. I find it appalling that less than five percent of Michigan voters can make a decision for the other 95 percent of Michigan residents.

“This tells women who were raped…that they should have thought ahead and planned for it,” said Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer, an East Lansing Democrat. This statement summarizes the argument clearly. Rape is not something that should be planned for. Planning for rape shows that we are desensitized to this horrific act, and that it is a common place event.

During the Debates Whitmer disclosed that she was a rape victim. “I felt it was important for my Republican colleagues to see the face of the women they’re hurting with their actions today. I can’t even begin to imagine now having to think about the same thing happening to my own daughters.”

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After Whitmer spoke Democratic state Representative Collene Lamonte spoke about her miscarriage. Lamonte pointed out that if she didn’t have insurance coverage for the dilation and curettage that was necessary to end the doomed pregnancy, her hospital bill could have been unaffordable.

“I would have been denied this procedure. Or we would have had an expensive medical bill that would have bankrupted us.” The fact that non-elective abortions can be effected by this is another injustice. If a women has to undergo the emotional pain of losing a child from a doomed pregnancy and then worry about the cost including the fact that her insurance may not cover it. In fact, the words “elective pregnancy” in this case is incorrect labeling.

The “Rape Insurance Bill” was never signed by Gov. Snyder. In fact, Snyder vetoed a similar bill last year saying, “I don’t believe it is appropriate to tell a woman who becomes pregnant due to a rape that she needed to select elective insurance coverage.” The Department of Community Health statistics shows that a mere three percent of the more than 20,000 abortions that are performed in Michigan in 2012 were covered by insurance.

One egregious misconception about abortion is that it can be funded through tax payer dollars. The Hyde Amendment has prohibited federal funding of abortion care for low-income women since 1976. “It’s one thing for you to pay for your abortion and another thing for me to have to pay for it,” the spokeswoman for Right to Life Michigan said of the legislation The level of misinformation from individuals leading the war against women’s rights is again appalling.

In the debates, none of the facts presented above were even mentioned, nor the fact that the number of abortions has decreased or the fact that Viagra and STD treatments are currently funded through taxpayer dollars.  The Detroit Free Press stated, “It’s unclear how much the riders in the employer-sponsored plans will cost.”

This is one of the components that I find particularly unsettling. College students are one of the largest groups that is uninsured in America, and are at the greatest risk for needing the insurance riders, because more than 50 percent of rapes take place on college campuses. I feel that those individuals who would be unable to pay out of pocket for services will be unable to afford the extra cost each month (like college students), which has been estimated as high as an extra $15 a month.

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