Testimony against Senate bill 81 “An Act to renumber 40.02 (1); to amend 40.03 (6) (a) and 40.03 (6) (b); and to create 40.02 (1d), 40.03 (6) (m) and 40.56 of the statutes; relating to: prohibiting the group insurance board from contracting for or providing abortion services.”
Committee on Insurance, Housing and Trade
December 13, 2017
Members of the Committee on Insurance, Housing and Trade, thank you for the opportunity to share our position on Senate bill 81. My name is Lindsay Lemmer, and I’m the president of the Madison chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW).
The Madison Chapter of the National Organization for Women – Madison NOW – wishes to be recorded as strongly against Senate bill 81 “An Act to renumber 40.02 (1); to amend 40.03 (6) (a) and 40.03 (6) (b); and to create 40.02 (1d), 40.03 (6) (m) and 40.56 of the statutes; relating to: prohibiting the group insurance board from contracting for or providing abortion services.” This act will force public employees faced with devastating pregnancy complications, or who have been told they will miscarry, to no longer have insurance coverage when they need it the most. Further, the legislation is one more intrusion into situations that ought to be left to those faced with these painful circumstances and their physicians.
This bill seems to ban medically needed abortions with few exceptions.
The fact that public employees’ health insurance is already banned from covering abortions except those deemed therapeutic (medically necessary) means that while this bill will impact a small number of individuals, its effect will be profound in its cruelty. Those impacted would largely be individuals who want their pregnancies and are faced with severe medical complications, such as grave fetal anomalies. People who are dealing with an already tragic situation would have that compounded with financial hardship from having to pay for needed care out of pocket, a cost that can be thousands of dollars. One has no choice or control over being in such a painful situation, which is why they especially need to have insurance coverage for this tragic time in their life.
Women dealing with these traumatic medical situations that require therapeutic abortion care must be able to rely on their doctor’s advice and care without political intrusion into that painful and private situation.
Thank you for your time and consideration.