Texas Governor Greg Abbott signs bill restricting insurance coverage of abortion

On Tuesday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed House Bill 214 (HB 214) which limits insurance coverage for abortion procedures.  Under this new law Texans will not be forced to pay for elective abortions through their insurance plans.

This legislation is an important piece of Governor Abbott's pro-life agenda that has been championed by Sen. Brandon Creighton and Rep. John Smithee during this special session.

"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.

“This bill prohibits insurance providers from forcing Texas policy holders to subsidize elective abortions. I am grateful to the Texas legislature for getting this bill to my desk, and working to protect innocent life this special session," Abbott said.

Texas Republicans argue that opponents of abortion shouldn't have to subsidize the controversial procedure through their insurance plans. Democratic lawmakers countered that women can't anticipate needing an abortion, and called the separate insurance now needed to cover non-emergency abortions "rape insurance."

“Women don’t plan to be raped. Parents don’t plan for their children to be victims of incest.

“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," Rep. Chris Turner, D-Grand Prairie, said.

State Rep. John Smithee, R-Amarillo, the bill's lead author, said, "This isn’t about who can get an abortion. It is about who is forced to pay for an abortion."

Governor Abbott also signed House Bill 13 (HB 13) to expand reporting requirements for complications resulting from abortion procedures. This bill will result in more accurate data being provided to the state.

“The health and safety of women is of the utmost importance, and we must have the most accurate data available in order to create good policy.

"This bill is an important step toward providing Texas with critical information when abortions are performed. I would like to thank the legislature for ensuring this important legislation reached my desk during the special session," Abbott said.

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