Lawmaker Reveals Own Rape in Abortion Testimony

Michigan's Gretchen Whitmer criticizes measure restricting insurance coverage
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 12, 2013 5:44 PM CST

Michigan lawmakers yesterday put tough new restrictions on health insurers in regard to abortion, reports the Detroit Free Press. The upshot is that women who want their polices to cover abortion, even in instances of rape, will have to buy a separate insurance rider. The measure passed easily, but not before a Democratic state senator made a powerful case against it by revealing that she had been raped 20 years before, writes Katie McDonough at Salon. "It’s something I’ve coped with privately for many years now, but I felt it was important for my Republican colleagues to see the face of the women they’re hurting with their actions today," said Gretchen Whitmer.

“Thank god I didn’t get pregnant as the result of my own attack, but I can’t even begin to imagine now having to think about the same thing happening to my own daughters," she said. Two other female lawmakers also shared their personal stories, notes a separate Free Press story, one who spoke of a difficult miscarriage and another who needed testing to make sure her unborn children didn't have a genetic disorder. The insurance measure becomes law in March. (Read more Gretchen Whitmer stories.)

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