Home / General / “One of the most misogynistic proposals I’ve ever seen in the Michigan Legislature”

“One of the most misogynistic proposals I’ve ever seen in the Michigan Legislature”


Which, of course, didn’t stop it from being passed:

Both chambers of the Michigan legislature have passed a measure banning insurance coverage for abortion in private health plans. And because of the way the legislation was put forward, it is set to become law despite the objections of both the state’s Democratic minority and the veto of the Republican governor.

The votes Wednesday added Michigan to the eight states that already have laws restricting abortion coverage in private insurance plans, including those sold on the exchange. Women on the state’s Medicaid are already barred from using it to cover abortion except in very narrow cases.

In a charged hearing Wednesday, Michigan Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer told the story of her own rape and called the legislation “one of the most misogynistic proposals I’ve ever seen in the Michigan Legislature,” according to the Detroit Free Press. Abortion coverage will be available to women who purchase separate riders. But as Whitmer put it, “This tells women who are raped … that they should have thought ahead and bought special insurance for it.”

“The fact that rape insurance is even being discussed by this body is repulsive,” she added.

Ah, the tea party, all about freedom.

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  • The prophet Nostradumbass

    Disgusting, but unfortunately not particularly surprising.

    • Joel Patterson

      Libertarians: their lips say “More Freedom!” but they really want domination.

      • To be fairer to Rick Snyder than he deserves, he’s the one who ran on a (faux-)libertarian platform and he appears to have at least pretended he didn’t like this legislation.

        Still, I feel like within a couple generations the libertarian-conservative line on rape is going to be something like “how dare you charge him with a crime! HER vagina impinged on HIS penis’ freedom!”

        . . . actually, that sounds distressingly like what it is now.

        • elm

          And to continue being overly fair to Snyder, his stated reason for opposing (and actually vetoing a previous version of) this law was what you would expect from a truly principled libertarian, i.e. that it represented too much government regulation into private markets.

          This may be damning with the faintest of praise, but Snyder is probably the best of his bunch of Republican governors as, compared to the likes of Scott Walker, Rick Scott, and the others, he does occasionally reach the correct conclusion even if he gets there by some awful route.

        • witless chum

          In Michigan, the Oakland County Republicans (country club) can only barely stand to share a party with the Ottawa County (Jesus jumping, “Detroit” hating) subspecies. Snyder is very much aligned with the former and he doesn’t do a great job of hiding his lack of hatred for women and gays. The only ideology he cares about is the Chamber of Commerce’s wishlist and he only half-heartedly panders to the Right to Lifers and always with the sort of affect of a teenager forced to go to church.

          The unfortunate thing is that, this being Michigan, even our Teahadis are smarter than those in, say, Indiana and there does not seem to be any kind of movement to primary him. They’re apparently going to primary the Lt. Governor for sort of unspecified deviations, but in Michigan that office as no power. The current Lt. Gov. was chosen by Snyder as a sop to the west Michigan fundie brigade, but I think they’re basically using him as a whipping boy to take out their frustrations on Snyder. Brian Calley, the Lt. Gov. seems to be a conservative on everything, though he underwent one of those Rob Portman-style conversions on the subject of the gubmint helping out parents with autistic children.

          It’s an interesting study in conservative psychology, where the Michigan bunch seems willing to forgo some pleasurable misogyny and gay-hating to enjoy beating up on unions, poor people and “Detroit” (guess whom they mean when they say Detroit?). The willingness of our local rape philosophers to realize that they shouldn’t let people hear what they actually think is a pretty troubling development.

      • No person that I know who is a self-identified libertarian would support this piece of censorious nitwittery.

        • Joel Patterson

          No true Scotsman…

  • Shwell Thanksh

    By now, it’s not even hard to predict what they’ll say when it happens to the daughter of a prominent Michigan Republican.

    • Hey, they earned their insurance. Not like those lazy moochers working private sector jobs. I mean, wait, no, what was the narrative again?

  • herr doktor bimler

    Now I am wondering what was the second most misogynist proposals.

    • The prophet Nostradumbass

      It was probably within the last year or two.

    • I don’t know if it qualifies as a “proposal,” but getting pissy at State Senator Lisa Brown for using the word “vagina” probably qualifies for the rest.

      • Anthony

        Well, what word did they want her to use?

        • “The Old Dominion” or “Robert E. Lee’s Home State.”

        • Bill Murray

          I would guess Hoo-Haa

  • JMP

    Well of course the tea party is all about freedom; it just doesn’t apply to mere women any more than it applies to the non-white, gay, non-Christian or poor.

  • wengler

    Right across the river from Detroit everyone has healthcare including women. Hell, they probably even have pensions too.

    • redrob64

      For the time being. I’m sure something is being done about that even now.

  • Joel Patterson

    So, Scott, by current case law, will Michigan currently be able to enforce this provision? Or will it need the 5 rabid conservatives on the SCOTUS to make a ruling to make it enforceable?

    Another good read from the Detroit Free Press.

    • Tom Servo

      I’m not familiar with the case law, but from what little I remember from con law, could this be challenged under a gender-based classification equal protection theory?

  • Orpho

    “Well, if you hadn’t been there wearing _that_ in the first place…”
    (i.e. clothes. or no clothes.)
    “Well, if you hadn’t been _there_ in the first place….”
    (i.e. the out-of-doors. or the indoors.)
    “Well, if you hadn’t been drinking in the first place…”
    (or smoking. or talking. or dating people. or being in a family.)
    “Well, if you were going to do those sorts* of things, you should’ve had rape insurance!”
    *any of the activities constitutive of a normal and full human life

    Seriously, I expect that this will be the new narrative.

    But it’s cool. The insurance companies can’t charge women more for insurance anymore, but now women will have to buy rape riders.

    I fucking hate this place sometimes.

  • Cheap Wino

    Is there some word more damning than misogynist? Because these people are monsters. Evil monsters.

    If there was ever proof that religion is not the path to morality, look at these christian men in the Michigan legislature.

  • LeftWingFox

    All women should be covered by rape insurance.

    And it should be paid for by increasing men’s premiums.

  • kindness

    I understand that these bills can be passed but I don’t understand how they are remotely legal.

    • kindness

      Constitutional I really mean.

  • Timurid

    Abortion coverage will be available to women who purchase separate riders.

    Cui bono?

  • DrDick

    Just more of that ever so effective Republican outreach to women. Much like their voter suppression efforts as part of their minority outreach.

  • Patricia Kayden

    This is what happens when you put Republicans in control. Stop voting for them.

  • herr doktor bimler

    The law, in its majestic impartiality, bars private insurance firms from including a legal medical procedure in their insurance packages for men as well as women.

  • Tom Servo

    Be it ballot initiatives or the legislature, it seems Michigan can do no right. See also Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action

  • Tom Servo

    What the fuck is the state doing banning certain types of coverage in private plans?

    • How do you even write a law like this? It forces the Insurance company to sell a legal product as a stand alone rider? And it asserts that you can’t buy it after you become pregnant? How do you enforce the law? Does it apply to people who buy their insurance through a company in another state?

  • J R in WV

    Well, they aren’t strict constructionist libertarians, they’re Chamber of Commerce Republicans, after all, and any chance to make people pay more money to one of their contributors – well, how could that be wrong?

    You just have to go back to first principles, which clearly show that public employees should always do what benefits those who contributed the most money to their campaign, and/or worked the hardest to get them elected. Isn’t that YOUR first principle? It is for all those elected Republicans!!

    If you don’t agree with that strategy, get a Democrat elected, right!?

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