Women in the state will need to pay an additional health plan premium to include non-emergency abortions.
Texas abortion insurance coverage will soon involve an additional health plan premium for women who want this added protection. The Texas House recently passed a new bill. It would mean that non-emergency abortions, what opposition are referring to as “rape insurance” will require women to pay more.
House Bill 214 received early approval in Texas making it more likely that women will need to pay more for elective abortions.
The additional abortion insurance coverage and its associated premiums are optional. Women are not required to purchase the added coverage, but they will need to pay for it if they want their health plans to cover abortions performed in any situation other than a medical emergency. Procedures conducted in the cases of rape, incest and fetal abnormalities are considered to be elective and will not be covered unless the woman purchases the additional coverage.
Abortion insurance coverage bill author, State Rep. John Smithee (R-Amarillo) objected to universal coverage.
Rep Smithee stated that it would not be fair for abortion opponents to be required to subsidize the procedure of others by way of their own health insurance premiums. “This isn’t about who can get an abortion. It is about who is forced to pay for an abortion,” said Smithee.
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House Democrats were opposed to the proposal and tried to fight it by way of a number of amendments. Their purpose was to add exceptions that would make it possible for women to receive coverage through their health plans for more types of abortion procedures. These would include exceptions for cases of pregnancies that were non-emergency but that involved rape, incest, ectopic pregnancies, severe fetal abnormalities and that would cause considerable and preventable harm to the mental health of the mother.
Bill opponents also worked to remove one of the bill’s provisions that stopped health insurance companies from offering discount opportunities for supplemental plans with abortion coverage . Democrats were also unsuccessful at adding language that would make it possible for any of the savings to be added to a fund that would pay for rape test kits.
Republicans voted down all changes to the abortion insurance coverage bill and passed it 95 to 51. The measure will now be on its way to the Senate. The Texas Senate has already approved a measure that was identical to Bill 214.