Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law Tuesday a bill that prohibits health insurance companies from covering elective abortions.
The results will be that women in Texas will now have to buy supplemental insurance to cover abortions due to House Bill 214, with no exceptions for rape or incest cases. Abortions for medical emergencies will still be covered.
“As a firm believer in Texas values, I am proud to sign legislation that ensures no Texan is ever required to pay for a procedure that ends the life of an unborn child,” Abbott said in a statement.
Democrats in the state have opposed the measure, saying the new legislation would force women to buy “rape insurance” since they will need to anticipate their need for an abortion.
“Women don’t plan to be raped. Parents don’t plan for their children to be victims of incest,” said state Rep. Chris Turner. “Asking a woman or a parent to foresee something like that and buy supplemental insurance to cover that horrific possibility is not only ridiculous, it is cruel.”
“Abortion and comprehensive reproductive health is health care,” says Dr. G. Sealy Massingill, chief medical officer of Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas and member of Physicians for Reproductive Health. “Women deserve to have access to safe and legal abortion. It is a matter of constitutionally settled law that abortion is a protected right.”
Ten states currently have laws that prohibit private insurance coverage of abortions, according to the Guttmacher Institute. They include: Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Utah.