• Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signs abortion clinics bill, vetoes Blue Cross provisions

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    DETROIT -

    Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has signed a bill that requires abortion clinics to be licensed and vetoed a companion bill which would have restricted insurance companies, such as Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, and businesses from providing elective abortion coverage in employee health plans.

    The abortion bill requires health facilities and abortion clinics that advertise abortion services and that conduct more than 120 surgical abortions each year to become licensed facilities by the state. Existing facilities can obtain a licensure waiver if they are determined to be protecting health and welfare of patients.

    The governor is also signing a bill that requires doctors screening patients to determine whether they are being coerced into having the abortion.

    “This bill respects a woman’s right to choose while helping protect her health and safety, including making sure a pregnant person is not being coerced into a decision,” Snyder said in a news release Friday.

    The governor’s office says the bills are part of Snyder’s plan to reform Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan to a mutual non profit company.

    The now-vetoed Blue Cross bill would have excluded abortions for rape, incest or the health of the woman. That would have required the woman to purchase elective abortion coverage.

    Snyder says that wasn’t in the initial proposal, so he vetoed it.

    “When I proposed these reforms, there was no reference to abortion. Regrettably, those provisions were later added,” Snyder said. “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. And as a practical matter, I believe this type of policy is an overreach of government into the private market.”

    The governor’s office also released a letter from Snyder. In the letter the governor explains his stance on abortion and his decision to sign one bill and veto the other.

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