Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer isn't going to pander just to the racists in the Right wing, she's also going to target women. Arizona has become the first state to limit abortion coverage in the state's future health insurance exchange.

On Saturday, "at the Center for Arizona Policy Family dinner before 1600 guests," Brewer signed SB 1305, the first-in-the nation bill that would prohibit insurers in the state-run health care exchange "from providing coverage for abortions unless the coverage is offered as a separate optional rider for which an additional insurance premium is charged.

The new Arizona law is a radical mini Stupak. It prevents insurers from offering abortion services, except under the most extreme circumstances, even if only private money were used to pay for those services. Most if not all women in the exchange would only be able to purchase coverage through an impractical, separate abortion "rider" or leave the exchange entirely and find coverage in the shrinking individual health insurance market. Since it’s unlikely that many insurers will offer abortion riders or that women will purchase them in anticipation of needing an abortion — in fact, "in the five states where abortion riders are currently required, no insurance company offers them" — the Arizona law will severely disadvantage poorer women who would likely have to pay out of pocket for abortion services.

This is precisely what Stupak and the bishops wanted to happen. The fight was never about enshrining the Hyde amendment and making sure federal funds weren't used for abortions; it was entirely about starting the end of private insurance coverage of abortion. Expect more states to follow Arizona's lead. And expect a resurgence for the coathanger, and the subsequent maiming and death of a lot of women.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Tue Apr 27, 2010 at 11:20 AM PDT.

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