Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has signed a new anti-abortion law that prohibits state health plans from covering abortion, making exceptions only for cases of rape, incest, or to save the patient’s life. The law is egregious on its own, but even more so considering that Wisconsin law already requires doctors to prove an abortion is medically necessary in order to qualify for coverage by a state health plan.
The Capital Times reports that Wisconsin law “already prohibits payment for abortion through Medicaid and bars state exchanges set up through the Affordable Care Act from covering abortion.” Now the state just does that.... extra.
Under the new law, signed Tuesday, most employees covered by insurance through the state’s Group Insurance Board will not be able to pay for abortions through their insurance—again, which was pretty much already the case. So why does this bill exist at all? It “is really making sure essentially that state taxpayers are not paying for elective abortions, period,” according to the bill’s co-author, Republican Rep. André Jacque. Co-author Sen. David Craig, also a Republican, unhelpfully pointed out that the bill doesn’t mean women can’t get abortions—they just have to find a way to pay for it on their own. (This does mean that many women can’t get abortions, by the way.)
Here we have a case of red state Republican lawmakers, having already attacked basic access to abortion, circling back around, dotting their I’s and crossing their T’s to make extra super sure that people can’t get the care they need. The thoroughness is both impressive and terrifying.