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Abortion rights advocates may benefit from legislative decision on healthcare exchange

The decision by the Republican legislature not to set up a state health exchange may be good news for abortion rights advocates in North Carolina. Or maybe not.

There are efforts underway in 21 states that are setting up state health care exchanges to stop health insurance companies from paying for abortions for women, NBC News is reporting. The latest was legislation signed last Monday by Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe.

The Affordable Care Act allows state to set up health insurance exchange market places and allows states to set up rules for states that take part. But states like North Carolina that decline to set up an exchange will rely on the federal government to run them.

But one expert said there even with the federal government running the exchange, there is a provision in the exchange that allows states to ban insurance companies from paying for abortion for being who purchase their insurance from the exchange.

Among the states which have passed laws banning health insurance exchanges from paying for abortions are Kansas, Nebraska, Utah, Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin.

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