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Cross-posted at ACA Signups
As regular visitors know, I make no bones about my personal politics. I'm very much a progressive Democrat, and my ideology comes out from time to time in my commentary. However, I do my best not to allow that to influence the data or how I present it.

When the enrollment numbers sucked, I agreed that they sucked and recommended that the HHS Dept. be forthcoming with the data anyway. When the Hawaii exchange was still subject to the infamous Heartbleed bug a week or so after it was publicized, I called them on it publicly. When states like Massachusetts subjected a couple hundred thousand of their citizens to a shaky, uncertain "limbo" status due to their exchange being screwed up, I don't try to cover that over. When a solid case was made that the "3.1 million" young adult figure that the Obama administration has been touting for months may actually be only half of that, I presented the argument, the source, the reasoning and make sure to include the lower figure on The Graph. When the RAND Corp. survey claimed that there have been an additional 8.2 million Employer-Supplied Insurance policies since last fall, I declined to add them to the total due to the bold claim and lack of any collaborating evidence (I still list this figure as a footnote, but am not including it on the Graph).

The numbers are the numbers.

I say all of this because the following is sure to cause quite a bit of controversy...but a) it's related to the ACA, b) it's a serious issue and c) it's horrifying.

First, a little background: Last December, the Michigan Republican Party passed a revolting law which legally prevents any health insurance plan sold in the state from covering abortion except in cases where the woman's life is in danger. Every single Republican in the state Senate and House voted for it, along with (I'm ashamed to say) 3 "Democrats":

The law, which takes effect in March, will force women and employers to purchase a separate abortion rider if they would like the procedure covered, even in cases of rape and incest.
This means, in effect, that since March 13, any woman who needs an abortion has to either pay for it herself or has to buy a separate "abortion rider" to cover the cost, even if she becomes pregnant from being raped.

As humiliating and degrading as the "rape insurance" law is, as Michigan political blog Eclectablog notes, it actually gets far worse, because:

Now we find out that Michigan women who purchase their health insurance on their own (not part of a group insurance plan) don’t have the option to purchase the extra abortion rider on their insurance. The reason? Because the bill passed by Republicans violates an Affordable Care Act provision that prohibits insurers from offering riders to standard insurance. In other words, their law makes it impossible for women not covered by a group policy to obtain the insurance rider that Republicans are forcing them to buy if they want that coverage.
That's right. As the Detroit News story explains:
the state “opt-out” rider law clashes with provisions of the Affordable Care Act, which outlaws both separate riders and any government subsidy of abortion. Under federal law, insurers cannot offer a rider to a standard, inclusive policy. And the new state law bars insurers from including elective abortion coverage in any policy, on or off the exchange.
So, what does this mean? Well...

1. Michigan's population is about 9.9 million people.
2. There's about 46.4 cases of rape per 100,000 people in Michigan per year.
3. That means about 4,600 case of rape per year.
4. Assuming 5% of victims are male, that's 4,400 women raped in Michigan per year.
5. Nationally, about 5% of female rape victims (around 25,000 - 32,000 women nationally) become pregnant after being raped per year.
6. That means that around 220 Michigan women become pregnant from being raped every year.
7. The Republican "Rape Insurance" law in Michigan prevents health insurance policies from paying for abortion (even as a separate rider), which means that...
8. Michigan women now have to pay for their own abortion.
9. The average cost of an abortion in Michigan is around $500.

CONCLUSION: Michigan's Republican "Rape Insurance" law means that around 220 rape victims will be PENALIZED for the "crime" of being raped every year by either:

a) having to pay a $500 fine and undergo a painful, emotionally revolting surgical procedure, OR
b) having to undergo a minimum of 9 months of cruel & unusual punishment.

Now, I can already hear the response: I'm overestimating the number of women who are raped each year, or I'm overestimating how many become pregnant from being raped. Who knows, maybe I have. Perhaps it's only 200 women per year, or 150. Wow, that's so much better; I know I'll sleep better at night knowing that "only" a hundred or so women will be victimized a second time each year because they made the mistake of being born with a vagina.

Perhaps the attack will be about the "nature" of the rapes in question; were they legitimate?

Did the victim fight back? Was she drinking, or dressed provoctively?

And besides, gee whilikers, some women might even appreciate being given a gift from God.

I'm sure the women (and decent men) of Michigan will find those arguments ever so compelling.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Every pregnancy is a potentially life-threatening (12+ / 0-)

    condition. To coerce a person into undergoing or enduring it is a crime -- a deprivation of the right to bodily integrity.

    Coercion is the element that turns many a virtue into vice. And when authority stands silent in the face of abuse, it becomes complicit.

    But then, as a nation, we place a low priority on abuse. If there's not a premature death involved, it raises minimal concern. That's the situation we have to change.

    by hannah on Fri May 09, 2014 at 12:18:13 PM PDT

    •  Pregnancy is life-threatening by biological design (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joffan, Cassandra Waites, anon004

      Larger brain size and upright stance (narrower hips) gave such an evolutionary advantage that genes that kill in large percentage -- especially before modern knowledge about infection -- still breed true, if a woman's earlier children survived or other women could nurse the child if the mother dies. Human childbirth is much harder/dangerous than for other primates.

      People who argue that it's appropriate to make it a society decision are therefore OK with treating women as second class, despite all hand-waving to the contrary.

      Because biology has made a unilateral -- because that's how evolution works -- "the greatest good for the greatest number" on human females you'd hope that a society with free will that wants to be considered "fair" would give women a break. Nope. Almost all modern societies take advantage.

      Giving birth (giving life) should be a gift not an obligation or women and poor people are 2nd class by definition

      by julifolo on Fri May 09, 2014 at 12:30:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  thank you, i can tell it was very hard to write. (0+ / 0-)

    and yes, very hard to read.
    and yes, part of your neutral data.

    likely not to be the last exposure of revolting ideology, one unable to concede any difference as being other than EVIL.

    well, we have to keep looking and not blinking. what it's like to not look or even not want to look is what a change in a small detail results in: something not human. something sub-human.

    if fear and/or otherness seems to work so well to draw the damaged and damageable, our success is to keep them from obtaining real power -- or if obtaining it, to lose it quickly.

    soldiers are appreciated, but not well understood -- i should say, well-enough understood -- but the resolve to fight and serve those who cannot fight: that's well-established concrete knowledge. we were not fascists, were we? still, they were able to compel soldiers to fight, weren't they?

    who are these Michigan people? as if i didn't know.
    i may alter my nick to "Sapper."
    be kind and gentle to your good self.

    TRAILHEAD of accountability for Bush-2 Crimes? -- Addington's Perpwalk.

    by greenbird on Fri May 09, 2014 at 07:12:00 PM PDT

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