Local Politics

Wake could restore abortion funding to insurance plans

Posted March 14, 2010

— The Wake County Board of Commissioners could reverse a decision Monday that eliminated coverage of elective abortions from the health plan for county employees.

After learning that the state Supreme Court outlawed payment for the procedure by public entities in 1981, County Manager David Cooke signed an administrative order Feb. 10 to eliminate the coverage.

The county had apparently not noticed when its provider added the elective abortions coverage to the plans it provides in 1999.

Commissioners Chairman Tony Gurley said Sunday that he doesn’t believe taxpayers, who subsidize medical policy plans for government employees, should fund abortions.

"If the legislature wanted Wake County to cover abortion services, the legislature would give Wake County specific authority to do so, and the legislature has not done so,” Gurley said.

Commissioner Stan Norwalk doesn't think Cooke should have moved unilaterally. He said Sunday that the board should have voted on whether to drop the coverage.

"I don't want to be bullied into doing something that we wouldn't have otherwise done,” Norwalk said.

The Democrat also said fewer than 20 women have had county-funded abortions in the last five years.

"By in large, tax dollars aren't being used to pay for abortions,” Norwalk said.

Pro-choice supporters say female employees will suffer if elective abortions remain eliminated from county health coverage.

"County employees have the right to comprehensive health care. Abortion care is a part of a regular comprehensive health plan,” said Melissa Reed, vice president for public policy for Planned Parenthood Health Systems.

In the decision is not reversed, Wake County employees would still be reimbursed for abortions in cases of rape, incest or danger to the health of the mother.

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  • elcid liked Ike Mar 15, 5:51 p.m.

    No one is saying that it is natural. The argument is that they are both elective procedures, so why should (following the logic of these arguments) taxpayers who disagree with either of them be forced to support them. Why shouldn't taxpayers who do not like children be able to equally dictate that their tax dollars not be spent on maternal care? You can't have it both ways.

  • Garnerian Mar 15, 5:03 p.m.

    "because one is natural and the other is not"

    That is your opinion. As I said earlier, quite a lot of taxpayers do not like children, at all. Using the argument many seem so obsessed with here, why should their tax dollars be used to support moral choices which they disagree with?

    It's not an opinion that abortion is not natural. It's a man made procedure.

  • james27613 Mar 15, 5:03 p.m.

    Wake County needs to be competitive to attract talented employees.

    Having insurance coverage that is less then what is available in the private sector will take Wake County off future applicants job search lists.

  • Garnerian Mar 15, 4:51 p.m.

    "So since the woman made the decision that caused her condition, she should be denied coverage? So all the people who develop lung cancer, emphysema, stomach cancer, cardiovascular disease, and cirrhosis should be denied medical coverage under their plans too huh? They chose to drink and smoke so now they just have to deal with it right?"

    Pregnancy doesnt kill you. There is a differnce

  • elcid liked Ike Mar 15, 4:50 p.m.

    "because one is natural and the other is not"

    That is your opinion. As I said earlier, quite a lot of taxpayers do not like children, at all. Using the argument many seem so obsessed with here, why should their tax dollars be used to support moral choices which they disagree with?

  • Dark_Horse Mar 15, 4:46 p.m.

    "Here is the deal. It is a decision by the person who made the choice to have intercourse in the first place."
    -TheAdmiral

    So since the woman made the decision that caused her condition, she should be denied coverage? So all the people who develop lung cancer, emphysema, stomach cancer, cardiovascular disease, and cirrhosis should be denied medical coverage under their plans too huh? They chose to drink and smoke so now they just have to deal with it right?

  • Garnerian Mar 15, 4:42 p.m.

    "As is carrying a child to term. Both are elective choices. Why should the taxpayers be tasked with paying for one but not the other?"

    because one is natural and the other is not

  • elcid liked Ike Mar 15, 4:36 p.m.

    "Here is the deal. It is a decision by the person who made the choice to have intercourse in the first place."

    As is carrying a child to term. Both are elective choices. Why should the taxpayers be tasked with paying for one but not the other?

  • Adelinthe Mar 15, 4:36 p.m.

    I understand both sides, and myself - I am pro-choice because far too many men have walked away from unplanned pregnancies for centuries. However now, having said that, I believe if someone makes a mistake, they are responsible for rectifying it themselves. Having this covered by insurance requires another to pay for it.

    God bless.

    RB

  • TheAdmiral Mar 15, 4:15 p.m.

    "The abortion issue is minor in my eyes..."

    I keep hearing that from folks, and then they act surprised when something sweeping comes around the corner and they are angry at it.

    It is the small pebbles that cause the fall of a building, not the big ones.

    It is not the issue - but a committee of elected morons and their response to such issues that causes the problems in America.

    In Congress we have 535 that should be retired. Permanently.

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