Abortion Conscience protection Constitutionality Court cases

ACLU attacks KS law protecting consumers from forced insurance coverage of abortion

The ACLU of Kansas and Western Missouri has sued Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger to stop implementation of a new law (KS House Bill 2075) that prohibits insurance coverage for elective abortions, unless coverage is limited to abortions procedures “necessary to save the life of the mother.” Individuals who wish to have abortion included in their insurance policy may do so through the purchase of individual riders “for which an additional premium is paid.” The law requires that premiums for such optional riders shall be calculated so to fully cover “the estimated cost of covering elective abortions per enrollee as determined on an average actuarial basis.” Optional riders may not be offered by state or federal insurance exchanges however.

The law is an attempt to solve the problem of insurance companies forcing all policy holders, regardless of personal belief or physical condition, to pay for elective abortions. Refusing to pay for abortions is a matter of conscience for many people, including many who support the legal availability of abortion. Some employers currently exclude such coverage from their policies voluntarily. (Whether they can continue to do so under the President’s healthcare reform is an open question.) The Kansas law simply protects freedom of conscience for those who are insured through policies negotiated by organizations who are indifferent to or support abortion. People who wish to pay for women’s abortions have ample opportunity to contribute to various non-profit organizations established for that purpose.

You can read the Kansas law here. Court documents filed by the ACLU can be found here.

Teresa Collett

Teresa Stanton Collett is a professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she teaches bioethics, property law, and constitutional law. A nationally prominent speaker and scholar, she is active in attempts to rebuild the Culture of Life and protect the institutions of marriage and family. She often represents groups of state legislators, the Catholic Medical Association, and the Christian Medical and Dental Association in appellate case related to medical-legal matters. She represented the governors of Minnesota and North Dakota before the U.S. Supreme Court as amici curiae regarding the effectiveness of those states’ parental involvement laws. She has served as special attorney general for Oklahoma and Kansas related to legislation designed to protect the well-being of minors and unborn children. She is an elected member of the American Law Institute and has testified before committees of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittees on the Constitution, as well as numerous legislative committees in the states.