FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 10, 2017
Contact: Representative Ron Tusler (608) 266-5831
Rep. Tusler Seeks Support For Pro-Life Legislation
Bill Prohibits State Health Insurance From Providing Abortion Coverage
Harrison, WI – State Representative Ron Tusler (R-Harrison) has co-authored legislation that would extend the prohibition on the use of public funds to pay for abortion to include public employees’ insurance plans. “This is a step that we should have taken a long time ago. If we cannot come to a consensus to protect all human life, we should at least use your tax money on other needs,” said Rep. Tusler.
“Wisconsin already prohibits payments for abortion with Medicaid funds and bars plans on the state healthcare exchange from covering abortion. This bill would apply the same principle to state employee health insurance,” Rep. Tusler said. Under current law, Wisconsin pays for elective abortion coverage for public employees at any stage of pregnancy. Twenty-one other states restrict public employees’ insurance plans from covering abortion. This bill would add Wisconsin to the list.
Under the legislation, the Group Insurance Board would be prohibited from contracting or paying for abortions unless a pregnancy falls within certain rare exceptions including rape, incest and life of the mother as provided in existing state statutes.
The bill is similar to a 2013 bill that passed the Assembly but failed in the State Senate. The 2013 bill also exempted religious entities from the contraceptive coverage mandate required by the Affordable Care Act. The U.S. Supreme Court decisions in Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged v. Burwell and Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. made provisions in the 2013 bill unnecessary in the current legislation.
Senator Dave Craig (R–Big Bend) and Representatives Andre Jacque (R-DePere) and Janel Brandtjen (R-Menomonee Falls) are also co-authors. “I am glad to be working with Representatives Jacque and Brandtjen on this important legislation. This legislation is a simple fix that respects the many constituents in my district and across the state who do not want to see their tax dollars used to pay for insurance plans that cover abortions,” said Rep. Tusler. The group expects to introduce the bill in their respective chambers in the coming weeks.