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Mich. Gov. Rick Snyder signs abortion legislation

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 28, 2012 at 7:47 pm •  Published: December 28, 2012
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The measure takes effect March 31.

Snyder also vetoed legislation he originally sought to end Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan's tax-exempt status and turn it into a customer-owned nonprofit. He objected to provisions added by lawmakers preventing insurers and businesses from providing elective abortion coverage in employee health plans.

The bills also would have excluded abortions for rape, incest or the health of the woman in the definition of elective abortion. That would have required women to buy separate, elective abortion coverage.

"I don't believe it is appropriate to tell a woman who becomes pregnant due to a rape that she needed to select elective insurance coverage," Snyder said. "And as a practical matter, I believe this type of policy is an overreach of government into the private market."

House Speaker Jase Bolger said in a statement that the Republican leadership "didn't seek to ban abortion coverage in any instances, including those mentioned in the governor's veto message."

Bolger said the future of Blue Cross' overhaul is "unclear," while Snyder and Blue Cross officials hope to get the bills approved in the upcoming legislative session.

"We are disappointed with the veto but understand the governor's decision," Blue Cross spokesman Andrew Hetzel said. "We also understand why he proposed the legislation in the first place."

The action by Snyder came on a busy day, as he dealt with more than 50 pieces of legislation. Lawmakers passed an estimated 282 bills in the so-called lame-duck session that brought the 96th Legislature to a close this month. Snyder spokeswoman Sara Wurfel said the governor has acted on 186 so far.