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Big news in five states

It’s state legislative season.  How about a quick round-up to catch you up to speed?

A big thumbs up to…

Minnesota
Good news – the Senate voted against removing coverage for poor women. Thanks especially to our partners at ProChoice Resources and NARAL Pro-Choice MN and to the Minnesotans for sending supportive letters – they heard you loud and clear!

And just this week, the Minnesota Court of Appeals recently affirmed a lower court ruling that dismissed a challenge to the state’s Medicaid coverage of abortionA double win!

Washington
The state House of Representatives passed a bill requiring insurance plans to cover all abortions if they also covered maternity care, so that a woman can make the decision that is best for her and her family, not based on whether or not her insurance would cover it. Next step: Convince the Senate this is the right policy for Washington women.

And thumbs down to…

Virginia
The governor of Virginia wants to expand Medicaid. He has the support of the Conference of Catholic Bishops, but only if the state further restricts Medicaid coverage of abortion.  If you live in Virginia, write to the governor to ask him to preserve the existing coverage in your state.

Alaska
Medicaid coverage for abortion is guaranteed by the Alaskan constitution for all medically necessary abortions, however, the governor recently signed into law a severely restricted definition of  ‘medically necessary” – meaning that many low-income Alaskan women will not be able to get an abortion when they need one. The message to women this session was heard loud and clear: political needs trumps medical needs – and constitutional protections – for women. The law is being challengedby Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest.

Georgia
The governor of Georgia signed a bill that bans insurance coverage of abortion for state employees and anyone buying insurance on a health exchange. The only exception is for “medical emergencies.”