Kansas GOP lawmakers passed bill to deny rape victims abortion coverage
By a vote of 86 to 30, the Kansas State House passed HB 2075 to exclude abortion coverage from all individual, group, private and public health insurance policies beginning July 1st. Gov. Sam Brownback is expected to sign the bill into law.
HB 2075 would prohibit insurance policies from covering abortion procedures for victims of rape or incest, unless they purchase a separate abortion insurance policy in advance. “The bill would provide that [abortion] coverage may be obtained through an optional rider for which an additional premium is paid,” according to the HB 2075 conference committee report.
When state Rep. Barbara Bollier (R-District 25) objected to forcing rape and incest victims to purchase additional policies ahead of time, her Republican colleague Rep. Pete DeGraaf reportedly replied:
“We do need to plan ahead, don’t we, in life?”
Bollier asked him, “And so women need to plan ahead for issues that they have no control over with pregnancy?”
DeGraaf then responded, “I have a spare tire on my car.”
“I also have life insurance,” he added. “I have a lot of things that I plan ahead for.”
DeGraaf should be applauded for planning ahead on “a lot of things.” Death and getting one’s tire blown out are unfortunate but inevitable occurrences. Good for him. But rape and incest are not crimes that can be anticipated because no woman would plan on being raped or sexually molested. DeGraaf’s unsympathetic response implied that if a woman gets raped, it’s her fault and it’s her responsibility to pay. This makes a lot of sense because blaming victims of rape and incest for the heinous crimes committed by men sounds just like the pious “family values” advocated by pro-rape Republicans.
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- KSLegislature.org: Kansas House Bill HB 2075 summary
- KSLegislature.org: Kansas HB 2075 text (PDF)
- KSLegislature.org: Kansas HB 2075 conference committee report brief (PDF)
- KSLegislature.org: State Rep. Pete DeGraaf’s page
- KSLegislature.org: State Rep. Barbara Bollier’s page
- Kansas National Organization for Women official website
- Kansas NOW: Facebook page with transcript of DeGraaf and Bollier’s exchange on HB 2075
- McPhersonSentinel.com: Kansas backs bill restricting abortion coverage
- Pitch.com: Kansas Rep. Pete DeGraaf: Being impregnated during a rape is just like getting a flat tire
- Call or write to state Rep. Pete DeGraaf.
- Join Kansas NOW’s Facebook campaign to send a spare tire to state Rep. Pete DeGraaf.