This post is a part of our Bioethics in the News series. For more information, click here.
By Deborah Fisch, JD
In December 2013 the Michigan legislature passed the Abortion Insurance Opt-Out Act. Because of the Act’s origin as a petition to initiate legislation, the governor possessed no power to veto it. Thus, effective March 14, no health insurance plan offered for sale in Michigan may include coverage for “elective abortion.” Instead, consumers desiring such coverage must purchase an additional rider – before becoming pregnant. No insurance carrier is obligated to sell such a rider, nor is any employer-based insurance plan required to offer employees an opportunity to purchase one.
The outcry against the law has condemned the allegedly undemocratic process of its enactment, the predicted effect on access to abortion for Michigan women, and possible further restrictions on abortion rights. Less attention has been paid to potential challenges to the law, the use of extreme spin on both sides, and the role of abortion restrictions in the larger context of Reproductive Justice.
The Declining Provider:
Refusal, Responsibility, and Reasonableness
Event flyer: Fisch Flyer
Evidence shows that most women who give birth by cesarean section can successfully – and safely – give birth vaginally in future pregnancies. Yet in the United States, most such patients instead undergo repeat c-sections, in large part because of the dearth of institutions and practitioners that offer VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). Are providers justified in refusing to support VBAC? Is it reasonable for mothers to demand this option? Whose responsibility is it to ensure that an evidence-based option is available? Weaving together threads of medical science, public health, bioethics, consumer advocacy, medico-legal concerns, and reproductive justice, Fisch will examine how we arrived at our current VBAC position, its implications for maternal and child health, and the connection to other instances of declining providers.
Join us for Deborah Fisch’s lecture on Wednesday, December 4, 2013 from noon till 1 pm in person or online:
In person: The lecture will take place in C102 East Fee Hall on MSU’s East Lansing campus. Feel free to bring your lunch! Beverages and light snacks will be provided.
Online: Here are some instructions for your first time joining the webinar, or if you have attended or viewed them before, go to the meeting!
Deborah Fisch, J.D., is affiliated with the University of Michigan Program for Sexual Rights and Reproductive Justice, the Human Rights in Childbirth Legal Defense Network, and Legal Advocates for Birth Options and Rights (LABOR). Her professional interests include the role of malpractice liability in determination of standard of care; the legal maternal-fetal relationship in pregnancy, labor and childbirth; regulation of out-of-hospital birth attendants and protocols for their interaction with in-hospital providers; and evolving access to maternity care under the ACA. She actively advocates for licensure of Certified Professional Midwives in Michigan. She earned her AB in Linguistics from the University of Michigan and her JD from Wayne State University Law School.
The Center for Gender in Global Context (GenCen) will host a panel discussion of the recent developments in women’s reproductive rights and the important issues at stake during this election season. Local and national perspectives will be discussed.
Center faculty member Libby Bogdan-Lovis will serve as a panelist, along with State Senator Rebekah Warren, Planned Parenthood Activist Meghan Hodge Groen, and MSU Student Activist Michael Gendernalik.
12:00-2:00pm, 303 International Center
All MSU faculty, staff and students are welcome to attend. Please come with questions and comments!