Gov. Whitmer Calls on Michigan Insurers to Make Sure Michigan Women Have Coverage for Reproductive Health Care

29 June, 2022
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Gov. Whitmer Calls on Michigan Insurers to Make Sure Michigan Women Have Coverage for Reproductive Health Care

LANSING, Mich. — Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer sent letters to every major health insurance company in Michigan, urging them to take steps to ensure Michigan women have coverage for reproductive health care to the fullest extent possible under current coverage.  

 

Today, I sent letters to all of Michigan’s major health insurance providers urging them to take every action possible to fully cover reproductive health care in their plans,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. With the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v WadeMichigan women must know that they can access the care they need, regardless of their insurance providerI urge every major health insurance provider in Michigan to take action now to ensure Michigan women have coverage for reproductive health care to the fullest extent possible. This means offering in-person and telehealth care, lowering cost-sharing requirements, covering travel expenses for out-of-state care, and expanding contracts with providers who can offer safe, comprehensive reproductive care.” 

 

An example of the letter the governor sent can be found here. 

 

Governor Whitmer’s Lawsuit 

In April, the governor filed a lawsuit and asked the Michigan Supreme Court to recognize a constitutional right to an abortion under the Due Process Clause of the Michigan Constitution. It also asks the court to stop enforcement of the 1931 Michigan abortion ban. Last week, after the Dobbs decision, she filed a motion urging the court to immediately consider her lawsuit and clarify that under Michigan law, access to abortion is not only legal, but constitutionally protected.  

 

The abortion ban violates Michigan’s due process clause, which provides a right to privacy and bodily autonomy that is violated by the state’s near-total criminal ban of abortion. It also violates Michigan’s Equal Protection Clause due to the way the ban denies women equal rights because the law was adopted to reinforce antiquated notions of the proper role for women in society.  

 

Michigan’s Pre-Roe Ban & Injunction 

The current version of Michigan’s law criminalizing abortion without exceptions for rape or incest was enacted in 1931. In 1973, the passage of Roe v Wade rendered Michigan’s 1931 ban unconstitutional and abortion became legal in the state of Michigan. 

 

On May 17, 2022, a Michigan state judge granted a preliminary injunction in a suit brought by Planned Parenthood against Michigan’s unconstitutional 1931 law criminalizing abortion. This injunction temporarily blocks the abortion ban, emphasizing the need Governor Whitmer’s action to permanently protect legal abortion in Michigan. 


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