Governor Haley Barbour has just signed Mississippi’s opt-out bill into law making the state the third to enact this important legislation. The bill, based on the AUL model, prohibits insurance plans in the soon-to-be-created health care exchanges from providing abortion coverage. The federal health care law allows taxpayer dollars to be used to subsidize insurance plans that include abortion coverage in the exchanges unless a state proactively chooses to prohibit abortion coverage in those plans.
The bill was championed by long-time AUL friend and Mississippi Senator Alan Nunnelee. So far, Arizona and Tennessee have enacted similar laws.
In a release, the Governor stated, “Mississippi continues to be the safest place to be an unborn child in America today. This bill ensures that taxpayers’ money will not fund abortions if the health insurance exchanges are implemented under the federal health care law.”
Other states are actively moving on opt-out bills as well. Governors in Florida, Missouri, and Oklahoma are deciding whether to sign similar legislation. The Louisiana legislature is likely to pass a bill in the next couple weeks. The legislatures in Michigan, Ohio, and South Carolina are also considering opt-out legislation.