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GOP Lawmaker's Bill Would End Coverage for Abortion, Some Birth Control in State Healthcare Plans

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There’s a bill under consideration in the Ohio legislature to eliminate coverage for many birth control pills and intrauterine devices from the health plans of state employees. Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles reports the sponsor of that bill says some of these birth control options effectively cause abortions.

Thursday, June 5, 2014 at 6:36 pm

Republican State Rep. John Becker wants to eliminate all coverage for abortion in state health care plans, even in cases of rape, incest or when the life of the mother is in danger.

The only exception would be an ectopic pregnancy, when the egg is implanted in the fallopian tubes.

But the bill also does something else. Becker said the bill would eliminate insurance coverage for some popular forms of birth control, like an intrauterine device.

"Yes, the IUDs would be prevented, because those take a human life, without question," Becker said. "That’s what those are designed to do."

Becker says the bill would also eliminate other forms of birth control, like certain birth control pills, that prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in a woman’s uterus.

"The bottom line is you have an embryo that is created, it's a human life," he said. "And it does implant that human life implanting itself in the uterus and therefore it dies.

Democratic State Rep. John Carney takes issue with Becker’s thinking on this subject.

"Here you’ve got a representative who just lacks fundamental understanding of medical science," Carney said, "who's pushing forward a piece of legislation that would impact many, many people here in the state of Ohio, to include all state employees, to include my family, saying you shouldn’t be able to use these sorts of birth control devices because they cause abortions -- which is just factually incorrect."

Carney said there’s no need for lawmakers to give this bill serious consideration.

"It just demonstrates how out of touch a number of these individual s are," he said.

If Ohio bans the insurance coverage of these birth control methods, it would violate a rule in the Affordable Care Act that requires most insurance plans to cover the full range of contraceptives at no out of pocket cost to a woman. Becker said he’s in the process of getting more information on that.

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