PHILADELPHIA, April 10, 2013 — State Sen. Anthony Williams today voted an emphatic “no” on a bill that would allow health insurance companies to opt out of paying for abortions unless the woman is a victim of rape, incest or in immediate danger of dying.
The Senate Banking and Insurance Committee voted 8-5 to report the Senate Bill 3 to the floor. The measure is in response to the federal Affordable Care Act, which lets states decide if they will offer abortion coverage through their insurance exchanges.
Williams (D-Philadelphia/Delaware), Democratic Whip and a committee member said the legislation is wrong. He questioned the merits of the bill and emphasized that lawmakers should not be involved in the relationship between doctors and women.
“There are reasons why women, after consulting with their physicians, may make the difficult decision on abortions. Their decisions may be reasons other than rape, incest or the potential for immediate death,” Williams said. “This is a slippery slope where we have society dictating decisions for individuals rather than allowing them the freedom the Constitution affords them: the right to privacy and control over their bodies.”
Williams argued that SB3 is designed to block women from obtaining abortions and, if enacted, would violate federal law. The full senate is expected to take up the bill shortly.