Michigan Law To Force women to Buy ‘Rape Insurance’ Being Considered

Michigan lawmakers are currently considering a bill that would require women to purchase what has been coined essentially as “rape insurance,” separate insurance riders for abortion, even if the woman became pregnant as a result of rape or incest, according to the Huffington Post.

The measure, proposed by Republican lawmakers in Michigan, is being blasted by Democratic lawmakers.

“Forcing women to decide whether they want to buy ‘rape insurance’ and even compelling parents to make the unfathomable decision about whether to buy it for their daughters is truly despicable,” State Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer (D) said Monday. “Requiring Michigan women to plan ahead for an unplanned pregnancy is not only illogical, it’s one of the most misogynistic proposals I have ever seen in the Michigan Legislature.”

Currently, about 80 percent of private insurance plans do cover abortion.  Should this measure be passed, the effect would be far-reaching.

A very similar bill was proposed and passed in 2012.  However, Governor Rick Snyder (R) vetoed the passed bill saying he did not “believe it is appropriate to tell a woman who becomes pregnant due to a rape that she needed to select elective insurance coverage.”

Opponents of the bill state that this measure essentially tells women they should pay for elective health insurance coverage in anticipation of the possibility that they could be raped.  If this were the case, then it would be smart for all women to purchase this coverage considering the statistics of rape in the United States.

Anti-abortion activities, according to the Huffington Post, were able to collect enough signatures on a petition that is forcing a vote on this measure.  If the legislature, which is Republican-controlled, approves it, the measure will automatically become law, regardless of whether the Governor signs it.  If the law does not pass, citizens will consider it as a ballot measure in 2014.

One of the groups leading the anti-abortion measure, Right to Life Michigan, compares rape and incest to car accidents and floods, saying that purchasing insurance riders for the event of a rape is similar to purchasing fire or flood insurance should one occur and damage their home.

“It’s simply, like, nobody plans to have an accident in a car accident, nobody plans to have their homes flooded,” the group’s President Barbara Listing said. “You have to buy extra insurance for those.”

However, comparing women’s bodies to houses or cars is a far stretch.  With insurance rates being as astronomical as they are, requiring women to purchase additional “coverage” in the event that they should be victims of the horrible crime of rape is simply wrong and unconscionable, at least by the views of this writer.  Women’s bodies are more than mere possessions that you protect against acts of nature.  Rape is no act of nature; it is an act of violence and an invasion of that person’s very sense of privacy and safety.  Should this bill pass into law, one could surely anticipate a case quickly going to the U.S. Supreme Court level.

Alaina Sullivan

Alaina Sullivan

Alaina Sullivan is an attorney and freelance writer in Indiana. She focuses her legal work on providing free legal services to those who cannot afford an attorney and is passionate in writing about legal issues and news in the non-profit industry.