Lawsuit targets Vermont over abortion

Lawsuit targets Vermont over abortion

Today’s post was shared by The Workers’ Injury Law & Advocacy Group and comes from www.burlingtonfreepress.com

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Alan Lyle Howe Jr. of Guilford stands in front of the Brooks House on Main Street in Brattleboro on Monday. An abortion opponent, Howe has sued Vermont Health Connect over the inclusion of coverage for the procedure.(Photo: ZACH STEPHENS/for the FREE PRESS)

Alan Lyle Howe says his opposition to abortion is more than just a moral belief — it’s a religious conviction.

But Vermont’s state-offered health plans force Howe to choose between his pro-life beliefs and insurance coverage, because all plans offered through Vermont Health Connect include a fee for elective abortion coverage, said his lawyer, Casey Mattox.

Howe declined to enroll and instead filed suit in federal court against the Department of Vermont Health Access, former commissioner Mark Larson and a host of federal officials.

"There are plenty of people who are pro-life, not for religious reasons," Mattox said. However, he said that Howe, a Protestant, considers the fee a violation of his religious beliefs.

Through his lawyers, Howe declined to be interviewed.

Howe is in his late 50s and has been living in Vermont for most of his life. Mattox said Howe lives by himself, works part-time and would have no reason to use the money set aside for elective abortions.

The Vermont Health Access Department’s lawyer said much of Howe’s allegations are directed at federal statutes rather than state law. Assistant Attorney General Bridget Asay declined to go further into how her clients would respond to the complaint….

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