Health insurance plans for Wisconsin state employees could not cover abortions, with few exceptions, under legislation being proposed by four Republican lawmakers.
Under the bill, currently being circulated for co-sponsorship, the state's Group Insurance Board could not enter into a group health insurance plan contract or provide a group health insurance plan on a self-insured basis that provides abortion services, except for in cases of rape, incest or the life of the mother.
Wisconsin law currently prohibits payment for abortion through Medicaid and bars state exchanges set up through the Affordable Care Act from covering abortion.
Twenty-one states have laws restricting abortion coverage under public employees' insurance plans.
A similar bill was introduced in 2013, and was approved by the state Assembly before dying in the Senate.
The bill "provides equity so that taxpayers are not funding abortions for any group of people in Wisconsin," its co-sponsors wrote in a memo to lawmakers. The bill is being introduced by Sen. David Craig, R-Town of Vernon, and Reps. André Jacque, R-De Pere; Ron Tusler, R-Harrison; and Janel Brandtjen, R-Menomonee Falls.
Rep. Lisa Subeck, D-Madison, pushed back on the proposal, calling it "politically motivated legislation that interferes with a women’s ability to access reproductive healthcare."