The abortion fight rages on | Arkansas Blog

Friday, February 4, 2011

The abortion fight rages on

Posted By on Fri, Feb 4, 2011 at 2:03 PM

Anti-abortion Republicans haven't given up the fight to prevent private insurance companies from using private premium dollars to insure limited abortion coverage in Arkansas. They were surprised by an amendment in committee yesterday intended to protect private coverage provided through insurance exchanges set up under new federal health care reform legislation.

The legal ins and outs are somewhat arcane. But basic themes are simple. The anti-abortion forces hope to get an opinion from Attorney General Dustin McDaniel that the amendment by Rep. Jeff Wardlaw runs afoul of the state constitutional amendment that prohibits public spending on abortion except to save a mother's life. In other words: the anti-abortionists want to effectively outlaw private insurance coverage for abortion under the new federal law, even for victims of rape and incest. What they forget to point out while invoking Amendment 68 is that the federal Hyde amendment, which allows public funding of abortions for rape and incest, has long been held by the court to override the state amendment.

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