The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Nation & World

August 16, 2013

Abortion coverage for Congress under health law?

(Continued)

WASHINGTON — Abortion remains a legal medical procedure in most cases, but it’s subject to increasing restrictions in conservative-leaning states. So far, 23 states have barred or restricted abortion coverage by plans in the new health insurance markets. But 27 states and Washington, D.C., have not. Under the health care law, every state must have at least one plan that does not cover abortion.

Judy Waxman, a leading attorney for the National Women’s Law Center, said the outcry from abortion opponents is overblown.

In the new insurance markets under Obama’s law, states decide whether abortion coverage can be offered, she explained. If it’s allowed, insurers decide whether they want to offer the coverage. They may not use federal funds to pay for it and must set aside part of the premium collected from enrollees into a separate account to cover abortions.

“No federal money will go to abortion,” she said.

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