Examining New Abortion Law, How it Will Impact You

By: Brian Johnson Email
By: Brian Johnson Email

24 hours after the Michigan legislature passed a controversial new abortion law, we worked to find out how the new law will impact people across the state.

The cost of an abortion ranges from a few hundred dollars if performed early, to tens of thousands of dollars if performed later in development.

"When you are talking about a women who is in a severe health crisis, which would not be exempt under this proposal, you could wind up with a woman losing a wanted pregnancy and having tens of thousands of dollars of hospital." said Meghan Groen, the Director of Governmental Relations for Planned Parenthood.

To read an example of some of the medical complications that doctors encounter of people who planned to get pregnant but then have complications later during their pregnancy, read the ACOG letter attached.

The new abortion rider law takes effect in March.

Over the last decade, the number of people seeking abortions in Michigan has decreased from more than 28,229 in 2002, to 22,699 last year. For a break down of the numbers by county click on the link "Michigan Abortion Numbers by County."

The new law makes Michigan one of 12 states to allow insurance companies to sell additional abortion riders, although no insurance companies are required to sell the plans and none do. So even if someone wanted to buy a plan, it's simply not for sale.

"Very few states actually prohibit private insurers from offering the coverage that an employer or a person wants to purchase," said Groen.

Although Michigan is one of them. Private insurance companies can no longer cover abortion--with the exception of life of the mother.

However poor people, who qualify for Medicaid, will now get more comprehensive insurance than is available in the private market. That's because federal law requires state Medicaid to cover abortion in the case of rape, incest, or the life of the mother.

A spokesperson for the Department of Insurance and Financial services--which governs the insurance industry, said the department hasn't really had time to even look at the new law or figure out how it will impact the industry. The spokesperson said that's because the legislation didn't go through the normal process or receive a bill number.

We tried to get an on-camera interview with Michigan Blue Cross Blue Shield, the Michigan Association of Health Plans, and the Michigan Health and Hospital Association, but were unsuccessful.

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