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Abortion insurance coverage ban passes Georgia General Assembly

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A bill ensuring that public employee health care plans and benefits under the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare) don't include funding for abortion passed Georgia Assembly today, after both chambers agreed on changes to Senate Bill 98 made in committee.

S.B. 98 includes only one exception in the coverage ban, and that's in case of "medical emergency" when it comes to mother's well being. The bill passed 105-64 in the House and 36-18 in the Senate.

From the S.B. 98:

"No abortion coverage shall be provided by a qualified health plan offered within the State of Georgia through a state exchange created pursuant to the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended by the federal Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, and regulations or guidance issued under those acts, except in the case of medical emergency."

S.B. 98 bans abortion coverage only for state employees, it does not affect overall coverage for private individuals under Obamacare.

Georgia Republicans lobbied for the ban to ensure that taxpayers' money is not used to cover abortions, since many in the Peach State are pro-life for religious reasons.

Georgia Democrats stood against the ban, calling it an attack on women's access to healthcare.

The legislation was authored by Sen. Judson Hill, R-Marietta. Georgia Governor Nathan Deal is expected to sign the bill into law.