Pa. Senate Approves Bill Restricting Abortion Coverage

June 7, 2013 — The Pennsylvania Senate on Wednesday passed a measure (HB 818) that would prohibit private health plans offered through the state's health insurance marketplace from covering most abortions, CBS Philly reports (Romeo, CBS Philly, 6/6).

The bill would permit health plans to cover abortions in cases of rape, incest or when a woman's life is in danger. The state Senate rejected two amendments that would have eased the bill's restrictions, including one that would have created an exception when an abortion is necessary to avoid a medical emergency.

Kirsten Page, a spokesperson for Gov. Tom Corbett (R), said the governor is "inclined" to sign the bill. If the bill is enacted, Pennsylvania would become the 21st state to ban abortion coverage in plans sold through the insurance marketplaces, created under the Affordable Care Act (PL 111-148).

Supporters of the bill said the measure is necessary to maintain consistency with current laws, while opponents said the bill expands the state's current laws by preventing women with private insurance from purchasing abortion coverage (Worden, Philadelphia Inquirer, 6/6).