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Legislature Sees New Abortion-Related Proposals

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CBS Detroit (con't)

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LANSING (WWJ/AP) - The Michigan legislature is seeing new abortion-related proposals that would prohibit some insurance coverage of the procedures and mandate ultrasound examinations.

Senate Bill 138 would prohibit Michigan health insurers from funding abortions as part of insurance coverage provided by businesses and organizations. The bill, however, would permit elective abortion coverage if an additional premium is paid.

In December, Gov. Rick Snyder vetoed an overhaul of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan because of language that would prevent insurers and businesses from providing elective abortion coverage in employee health plans. Separately, an overhaul of the state’s largest health insurer is moving forward without abortion language.

The other abortion-related proposal, House Bill 4187, would mandate ultrasound examinations at least two hours before abortions with the most-sophisticated equipment available to provide “the most visibly clear image of the gross anatomical development of the fetus and the most audible fetal heartbeat.”

Similar legislation failed to pass previously. Current state laws require patients be given the option of looking at the images if an ultrasound is performed, but doesn’t mandate the procedure.

Supporters say the purpose of the House Bill is to provide “consumer protection” and ensure that a woman is fully informed before consenting to an abortion. But Michigan Democratic Party Chair Mark Brewer said the House Bill is just an extreme invasion of women’s privacy rights that endangers their health with an unnecessary medical procedure.

“It’s time for Michigan Republicans to stop intruding on a woman’s relationship with her doctor and start focusing on jobs and the economy,” Brewer said in a statement.

TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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