The main purpose of the paper is to study and discuss a policy that has emerged in Michigan in 2014. The current process of passing the legislature is closely connected with the development of special needs of society in the implementation of contemporary effective policies that meet social requirements and aim to improve all aspects of living within the society. There is a wide range of different policies that emerged within the state of Michigan over the last five years. However, the current analysis is concentrated on the well-known for its controversial character the so-called ‘rape insurance’ law that went into effect in 2014 (Kaffer, 2014). This policy has an extremely diverse character because of the ethical and moral issues that are involved in this problem. However, it can be seen that the policy emerged because of the serious changes within the society and social morality. The law aims to give women the ability to terminate a pregnancy that was a result of a rape or incest, although it requires an additional insurance to be purchased by women. The complexity of the emerged issues within the current theme represents special interest for the current analysis.
It can be seen that these days American society is really aware of the abortion problem. More and more women each year decide to terminate their pregnancies because of treasons. In order to provide some sort of regulation within the area, the state of Michigan elaborated a concrete policy that will give additional finances to the medical sector and also increase the attention paid to the amount of abortions within the state. However, the policy has been met with serious criticism as women will be paying for an additional insurance in case they want to terminate their pregnancy in the future. All insurance plans will be banned from covering the expenses spent on the abortions unless there is a risk for women’s lives (Kaffer, 2014). Therefore, in case women are afraid of having a baby with disabilities or having the great amount of unexpected problems during the pregnancy period in future, they have to purchase another special insurance. The most touching moment is that the law does not take into account incest and raping.
To be able to provide a reasonable and objective analysis of the issue, it is necessary to address the arguments for and against the implementation of such a policy. It is known that the new policy immediately provoked a series of critical reports. The opponents of the current policy see severe infringement of the women’s rights as women are now enforced to pay for the different insurance in cases they are afraid of having an undesired pregnancy, even if they will be raped. Moreover, it is now known that only seven insurers will be offering the abortion riders that will be opened only for the owners of employee-sponsored insurance plans, says the Detroit Free Press. Moreover, the new policy provides women with additional psychological pressure. In her speech in the Michigan Senate, Gretchen Whitmer underlined that women that got pregnant in the result of raping would now feel that they were left of their own (Whitmer, 2014). The fact that additional riders will not be sold on the individual marketplace means that women who want to buy the rider on their own will be out of luck. It seriously harms their rights and appears to be extremely unfair. These arguments are very serious and that is why the new policy emergence has been met with the series of strikes, demonstrations and protests.
However, there are people who support the new policy. First of all, the policy in the Senate is supported by the representatives of the Republican Party (Kaffer, 2014). The supporters of new abortion insurance policy say that it allows people who are against the abortions to avoid additional payments when purchasing the plan that covers such a procedure. Moreover, they also see it as a promotion of the abortion decrease in general. Women will now be more attentive to the problem of an undesired pregnancy that can potentially lower the amount of abortions in the state. Also, the additional abortion insurance will give this medical sector extra financing because of the additional purchasing that will support the improvement of the proposed medical assistance.
The current policy has passed the legislature. It officially went into power this year, as it was approved by the Michigan Senate. No veto followed the current policy and so the mass protests emerged as a huge part of society opposed this law and defined it as sexist and not democratic. There were protests from both sides – the supporters, as well as the opponents of the policy; therefore, the implementation of an additional insurance provoked the emergence of conflict within the Michigan society. There was a series of discussions within the Senate as democrats do not support the new policy. The main reason for that is the additional harm produced towards the victims of sexual assault and women with the desired pregnancy that for some reason went wrong and therefore resulted in some horrible outcomes for the baby, so it therefore has to be terminated. This can potentially produce a number of harmed families and a lot of children with disabilities will require additional financing from the government for the whole period of their lives. There was a series of speeches addressed to the Republican wing of the Michigan Senate. The Michigan state legislature under the Republican control was the first who passed the current measure in 2012, but the governor Rick Snyder vetoed the legislation. He explained this decision as it was inappropriate “to tell a woman who becomes pregnant due to rape that she needed to select elective insurance coverage” (Woods, 2014). At the same time, local organization Right to Life of Michigan collected ever 300,000 signatures to support the policy (Woods, 2014). But one of the brightest moments in the legislation process within the senate was speech of the Michigan Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer (Whitmer, 2014). She told about her experience of being raped while studying in college and how she felt about the current policy and why she and her colleagues were against the current measure.
The policy is now closely associated with the Michigan state, its legislative and social environment. It had a special importance for this particular state because it touched one of the most painful social problems. In 2012, there were more than 23,230 affected women in Michigan, and fewer than 4% of them were covered by the insurers (Knott Ahern, Michigan, 2014). The current procedure when being taken during the first trimester costs about $500. In one of the last interviews, the CEO of Planned Parenthood Mid and South Michigan underlined that termination of pregnancy during the second and third trimester may cost about $10,000 (Basset, 2014). The high cost of the procedure is followed by high payment for the additional insurance. So, the supporters of the policy have their right to refuse to pay for this service. However, the violated rights of raped women are a serious argument of putting a veto on this policy. The first veto of the law was met by a severe criticism from the side of abortion opponents that support the Republican majority within the Michigan Senate (Denson, 2014). Therefore, the following second implementation of the policy was important for the current political party and for the additional support of its rates in the state. Therefore, there is nothing strange in the fact that Republican-controlled Michigan Senate finally approved the current policy.
It can be easily seen that the new policy that has been put into power within the state of Michigan had a special importance in the contemporary social environment and it supported the ongoing leadership of the Republican Party within the Michigan Senate. The policy is quite controversial and therefore it has a lot of active supporters, as well as opponents. According to the new law, women are enforced to pay for their additional insurance in case they are thinking that they might need to terminate their pregnancy in future. It seriously harms rights of the rape victims or women whose pregnancy went wrong at some period that resulted in the horrible outcome for the future baby. At the same time, supporters of the new law say that they do not want to have additional payments for the measure that they do not need. The cost of termination of pregnancy is quite high and it will seriously reduce their expenses. The additional argument that supports the policy implementation is that it will give additional financing to this particular sector of medical assistance and therefore it will stimulate the increase of professional medical care proposed to women. The law has been approved after the first vetoing in 2012 by the Republican-controlled Senate. It provoked the new poll of debates between republican and democratic politicians. The same refers to the series of conflicts within the society. This concrete issue has special importance as the example that can be studied by the rest of the states in order to decide whether to implement policies that are of the same nature or not and what outcomes such political decisions may have for the political and social situation within the state