Yesterday, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal signed House Bill 1247, “The Abortion Insurance Opt-out Act.” The new law, which goes it effect immediately, exempts the state from the abortion mandate in the recently-enacted federal health care reform law.
Specifically, the new law prohibits health insurers participating in the state-run health insurance exchange (scheduled to go into effect in 2014) from offering plans or policies that cover abortions except in rare cases in which the mother’s life is in danger from “a physical disorder, physical illness, or physical injury” including “a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself.”
In the three months since President Obama signed the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” in law, four states – Arizona, Mississippi, Tennessee, and now Louisiana – have acted to protect life and to ensure that taxpayer dollars are not used to fund abortions – a practice opposed by the vast majority of Americans.
Notably, the day after Congress passed the health care reform legislation, AUL made our “Federal Abortion-Mandate Opt-Out Act” available to lawmakers in all 50 states and we continue to work with dozens of states that are considering opt-out legislation either this year or when their legislative sessions reconvene in 2011.
Governor Jindal and our allies in Louisiana are to be congratulated on their bold leadership in support of life. Clearly, Louisiana has earned its top-spot in AUL’s annual ranking of the most pro-life states and has again set the standard for other states to follow.
AUL’s news release on this subject can be found here.