Wake County no longer covering elective abortions for its employees | Wake County | Indy Week
Pin It

Wake County no longer covering elective abortions for its employees 

Wake County Attorney Scott Warren says that if the county retains coverage of elective abortions in its health insurance program for employees, "I can't say, if we got sued, we'd win." And Warren says it's his job is to advise county leaders how to avoid expensive litigation wherever possible.

Warren called in response to our story ("Wake Commission mulls abortion coverage for county employees"). He'd asked (as we reported) that we submit questions to him in writing. We did, in an e-mail, but the e-mail didn't reach him, nor did it arrive when we re-sent it this morning. (The county's spam filters may have something against "abortion" on the subject line?)

Warren said he'll wait to see if he's asked the question directly when the Wake Commissioners meet on Monday before saying if it's his "legal opinion" that they ought to drop the abortion coverage.

He added, "I reviewed and approved the agenda item, which may tell you what you need to know."

The item, which Commission Chairman Tony Gurley put on the agenda, would drop the coverage.

(The News & Observer is reporting that Wake County Manager David Cooke changed the policy Wednesday and that elective abortions are no longer covered. The county's self-insurance plan, The N&O reported, will pay for abortions in cases of incest, rape or danger to the life of the mother. Update: Cooke confirmed to the Indy what the N&O reported. He acknowledged that there are "differing legal opinions out there" but took action to remove the coverage based on the county attorney's advice.)

Warren said the N.C. Supreme Court's holding in the case of Stam v. State (1981) is problematic for Wake County, because Wake was the original defendant in the case and the court's holding is directed at Wake.

The original case was "in the context of" a welfare program for pregnant, indigent women, Warren said. But the holding "is not limited to that context," and it says the defendant—Wake County—"exceeded its statutorily conferred power in levying the tax involved [i.e., property taxes] in the funding of medically unnecessary abortions."

The legislature could clarify that counties have the authority to include coverage for elective abortions in health insurance benefits, Warren added. It hasn't done so. Changing the health insurance program doesn't strip employees of their right to choose abortions, Warren said. It would mean, rather, that Wake County's insurance plan won't help pay for them the same as the federal government's insurance plans don't—and haven't since 1976.

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Wake County



Twitter Activity

Comments

About time. Regulations without enforcement aren't real. The UDO was the product of a massive policymaking process that involved all …

by Outofstater on For Years, Raleigh’s Zoning Inspectors Have Been Tasked with Duties They’re Not Equipped to Do (Wake County)

Not sure why better zoning compliance is being enforced now, but a little late for me with the tricks the …

by citizenshame on For Years, Raleigh’s Zoning Inspectors Have Been Tasked with Duties They’re Not Equipped to Do (Wake County)

Most Recent Comments

About time. Regulations without enforcement aren't real. The UDO was the product of a massive policymaking process that involved all …

by Outofstater on For Years, Raleigh’s Zoning Inspectors Have Been Tasked with Duties They’re Not Equipped to Do (Wake County)

Not sure why better zoning compliance is being enforced now, but a little late for me with the tricks the …

by citizenshame on For Years, Raleigh’s Zoning Inspectors Have Been Tasked with Duties They’re Not Equipped to Do (Wake County)

I'm would say I'm pretty informed. I live in SE Raleigh and have been involved in politics for a while …

by JerrryG on Newly Reelected Mayor Nancy McFarlane Grapples with the Fact That Large Swaths of Raleigh Feel Left Behind (Wake County)

Post the election where the elites if Raleigh simply consolidated their influence via control of the media, the situation for …

by MickeyNotMouse on Newly Reelected Mayor Nancy McFarlane Grapples with the Fact That Large Swaths of Raleigh Feel Left Behind (Wake County)

They don't have credibility according to you because you choose not to see the truth. Charles is part of the …

by JerrryG on Newly Reelected Mayor Nancy McFarlane Grapples with the Fact That Large Swaths of Raleigh Feel Left Behind (Wake County)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation