The Apex Town Council unanimously decided to eliminate insurance coverage for abortion from all town employees’ Blue Cross Blue Shield benefit plans. The change went into effect yesterday.
If you’ve been paying attention to any discussion around Health Care Reform at the federal level recently (see Choice 2.0 blog), you won’t be surprised to learn that media coverage and comments from public officials have made it painfully clear that this is about far more than what benefits are or are not in a particular health insurance plan.
The politicization of women’s personal reproductive lives definitely didn’t stop with Stupak and now we have found it at our own back door.
Media coverage of the issue thus far points very directly to the problems. WRAL’s sensationalized coverage could have you thinking the Apex employee’s health insurance plan was covering illegal drug use rather than a safe and legal medial procedure. Meanwhile, the story in the Cary News (http://www.carynews.com/front/story/15838.html) quotes Councilman Mike Jones saying very candidly that the underlying issue for him is the moral issue of abortion. (emphasis mine)
I’m not sure at what point our society decided that it was okay for one elected official’s moral beliefs to be the deciding factor in what an entire group of people (*ahem* women) can or cannot have access to. What’s next? Fertility treatment? Birth control? How about (as Cary Mayor Harold Weinbrecht said so astutely) erectile dysfunction medication and vasectomy coverage?
The fact is that elected officials shouldn’t be able to cherry pick what reproductive health care coverage they’re okay with and what they’re not and force those decisions and the beliefs that motivated them on everyone else. Abortion care is basic reproductive health care for women and 87% of insurance plans currently cover abortion care. The reason for this is simple (allow me to repeat): Abortion is a safe and legal medical procedure. In fact, it is a procedure that one out of every three women will experience in her lifetime.
Unfortunately, politically motivated single-issue attacks like this one have a tendency to snowball and it’s looking like Wake County employees’ benefits could be up next on the chopping block when the County Commissioners meet later in the month. We know you’ll want to help so plans are in the making! Stay tuned to facebook.com/ppcnc and twitter.com/ppcnc to find out how you can be part of the campaign to protect women’s health in your community!