WASHINGTON (BP)–A new law signed by Massachusetts Republican Gov. Jane Swift will force pro-life groups to offer coverage of contraceptive devices as part of the health plans offered to their employees, CNSNews.com reported March 8. Pro-life groups say some contraceptives actually cause early pregnancies to be aborted.
The “Contraceptive Coverage” law will require individual and group health insurance plans to cover hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved contraceptive drugs, devices and services to the same extent they cover other prescription drugs and devices.
The state House passed the bill by an overwhelming margin, the state Senate passage was unanimous and Swift signed the bill into law March 7.
But Swift, who assumed office when her predecessor, Paul Cellucci, became U.S. Ambassador to Canada and is up for election this year, has made no public comments about the issue, her spokeswoman, Sarah Magazine, said.
Actress Kathleen Turner, the national chair for Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), spoke recently at a benefit for the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts in support of the bill.
“Reproductive choice is a pivotal issue of the times,” Turner reportedly said. “It is a basic right — that of when to have a child.
“We are a country that stands for freedom. We are fighting a war to defend that freedom right now. Without the right for reproductive choices, we are liars,” Turner said, according to press reports.
But Marie Sturgiss, executive director of Massachusetts Citizens For Life (MCFL), said the law would strip the “sovereignty over our own health insurance coverage.”
“Obviously, we opposed that bill because that bill does support contraceptives that are known abortifacients,” Sturgiss said. Abortifacient is a term used to refer to anything that assists in the abortion process.
Sturgiss said the most disturbing aspect of the new law is that even organizations such her own will be forced to follow the guidelines.
“This does affect MCFL. Here we are a pro-life group against abortion and we’re going to be forced to have this very thing provided for in our health plans for our employees. That’s how ludicrous this thing is,” she said.
Pyeatt is a staff writer with www.CNSNews.com. Used by permission.