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Contraceptive Coverage Question Proposed for Ill. Ballot

June 2, 2014 — The Illinois Senate last week approved a referendum that would ask state voters whether health insurers should be required to cover contraceptives, the Belleville News-Democrat reports.

The referendum would be non-binding, meaning it would simply ask voters for their opinion on the issue. It would appear on the November ballot if Gov. Pat Quinn (D) approves the Senate's proposal.

Senate Debate

State Sen. Kyle McCarter (R) accused Democrats of using the contraceptive coverage question and others to "loa[d] the ballot with referendums that mean nothing, just so they can get their traditional supporters out to the polls to vote for them, so they can protect their power, position, and pension."

However, state Sen. Iris Martinez (D), who sponsored the initiative, said the ACA is "under attack," adding that "we want to be ready here in Illinois" in case the law or contraceptive coverage rules are undermined in court.

According to the News-Democrat, Illinois law has required insurers to cover contraceptives since 2003 (Brueggemann, Belleville News-Democrat, 5/29).