Fimian and abortion

I went to the homeowner’s association meeting tonight and, as is their custom, a number of politicians and their representatives were invited to speak.  Connolly and Fimian were both at a previously scheduled event, but they both sent people to speak on their behalf.  Connolly’s representative did a generally solid job, though he went on for too long.  Fimian’s representative was a young man, perhaps 20 years old, who began his speech by admitting that he usually spoke to groups of high school student and this was a step up for him.  It was pretty painful listening to him, as basically the entire pitch was that Fimian’s not a Washington insider and he knows what it’s like to be us.  Since we had just recognized Tom Davis for his years of service to the district, this was perhaps not the best note to hit.

At the question and answer period, one of my neighbors tossed him a bit of a softball, asking about the mailings that she’d been getting about Fimian, and weren’t they just accusing him of being Catholic?  (Note that Connally is also Catholic.)  He responded with a long answer about how they were making these accusations based on links on the Legatus website, even though the webpage includes a disclaimer that they didn’t constitute an endorsement.

Well, this ticked me off, because it sounded to me like Fimian was trying to hide his strong social conservative positions.  So I asked him about the info from Left of the Hill, that Fimian’s company amended its health insurance plan to exclude coverage of abortion, even in cases where the health or life of the mother was at risk.  (I found this via Anonymous is a Woman.)  The speaker had no idea, and so we moved on, but I found myself arguing with my neighbor about how common this is.

When I got home, I started googling, and I found this 2003 Kaiser Family Foundation survey that found that 46 percent of firms that provided health insurance included abortion coverage.  (I checked, and while KFF conducts this survey every year, they seem to have dropped the question about abortion coverage.)  Large employers were far more likely to provide abortion coverage than small ones.  Interestingly, 26% percent of employers did not know whether their insurance plan covered abortion, which makes me think that this is usually a cost-cutting provision rather than an ideological one.

What I can’t tell from this is whether plans that don’t cover abortion generally have life and health of the mother exceptions.  I can’t find this online — anyone have a source?  Or, if your plan doesn’t cover abortion, can you look it up in your benefits handbook?

3 Responses to “Fimian and abortion”

  1. Ashley Says:

    Being the neighbor that took pity on the poor young man (he was really nervous) and tossed the softball, I do have a different take on it sounding “like Fimian was trying to hide his strong social conservative positions.” For the most part, Fimian’s young mouthpiece wasn’t hiding anything- he simply didn’t know. 46% of companies cover abortion; 54% do not. Being in the majority does not make one an extremist; however, Fimian likely did decline coverage of abortions for religious reasons. He is not radical; he’s just a practicing Catholic (and the Catholic church has recently made clear, since he is pro-choice, Connolly is not.) I think the Democratic party is better than the smear campaign launched against a man exercising his freedom of religion, as it is enough to simply point out that Fimian is on the wrong side of this issue for this area.
    I’ve long thought the case for pro-choice should be made as a separation of church and state argument (as abortion is not a medical dispute of any basis, but a religious one; i.e. your religion doesn’t get to interfere with my bodies’ freedom from it.) This is a perfect example as to why.

  2. Mary Says:

    No source for you, but can tell you, if you didn’t know, that fed govt employees insurance does not cover abortions. Friend of mine ended a pregnancy due to severe congenital deformities of the fetus and her husband’s govt insurance would not foot the bill. However, it was not clear if such deformities would kill the baby at birth. Most likely, but not for sure. They did not find out about the problems until the 20 week sono, so had to have an induction. Since they were worried abt costs, friend left hospital only 2 hrs after delivering. Unfortunately, all of the placenta did not deliver and she was rushed to the hospital the next day with massive bleeding, infection, ICU visit. The insurance did not cover that hospital stay either, since it was a complication of the pregnancy termination. This would not meet a life or health of the mother exception, most likely, which is one of my beefs about the exception — from my own experience (my pregnancy termination for the same reason as my friends was covered) the exception also needs to mention life or health of the fetus….hard to draft, but I think it should be considered.

  3. dave.s. Says:

    Ashley, I invite you to rethink your view “..abortion is not a medical dispute of any basis, but a religious one; i.e. your religion doesn’t get to interfere with my bodies’ freedom from it..” We all have some view on humanity, or person-hood, and when it starts. Mine is that it starts with the interaction of the infant with its surroundings, and its parents, caregivers. From that comes my view that abortion on demand is okay, the fetus is not human.
    But if one believes (and this kind of belief comes from one’s ethical and religious upbringing, where else is it going to come from?) that humanness is innate in the fetus (it’s not implausible, RTL people trumpet the fetus responding to stimuli, some people believe in a soul and ensoulment at conception, or at quickening etc) then the fetus has to have human rights. And we don’t let parental convenience or beliefs triumph over the right of, say, a Muslim girl not to be killed by her parents if she sleeps with a boy, or of the toddler children a woman has had by prior affairs not to be killed by her new boyfriend.
    I don’t impute rights to a fetus; I don’t regard it as human. If I did, I would want the state to require the mother to carry the fetus to term, because I would think the invasion of her rights from forced continuation of the pregnancy was far less than the invasion of the fetus’ by allowing it to be killed.

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