ATLANTA — The Georgia Senate voted 35-18 on Monday to prohibit health plans offered under the federal Affordable Care Act to cover abortion except in medical emergencies.
Sen. Josh McKoon, R-Columbus, said Senate Bill 98 matches longstanding federal law which prohibits federal tax funds from going toward abortion. Many Georgians consider abortion murder, he said, and do not want the taxes they are forced by government to pay going toward premium subsidies for policies that cover elective abortions.
The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, provides subsidies from federal taxes to people with lower incomes to help them pay premiums.
“The decision not to use subsidized tax dollars on abortion places no obstacle on a woman who chooses an abortion,” he said.
Although federal taxes subsidize Obamacare policies, state law governs most of the features of health insurance sold in Georgia.
Democrats objected to the all-male committee that approved the bill, arguing that only women should decide reproductive issues.
“Once again we are back on this war on women. I don’t know why we keep going there,” said Sen. Horacena Tate, D-Atlanta.
Sen. John Albers, R-Roswell, countered, “The war has been on innocent babies.”
Sen. Valencia Seay, D-Riverdale, held a coat hanger while she spoke in the well against the bill.
“This is the tool that so many used before (abortion) became legal,” she said.
Earlier, the Senate voted 40-13 for SB 281 which requires state employees and teachers be offered a high-deductible option in the State Health Benefit Plan.