The new coverage restriction requires women to have to pay for a supplemental plan to cover non-emergency abortions.
Republican Governor Greg Abbott of Texas has now signed House Bill 214 into law, passing a bill critics say will require women to have to pay for rape insurance.
The law restricts abortion insurance coverage so that women will need to pay for a supplemental plan if they want to be covered for the procedure in non-emergency circumstances. Democratic opponents of the bill condemned it for forcing women to have to pay more to cover abortion procedures for pregnancies resulting from rape.
Texas is the most highly populated Republican-controlled state and has led the way in abortion restriction.
Many of the measures Texas enacts have been used by other states to create their own socially conservative regulations. That said, when the rape insurance bill becomes law on December 1, 2017, it will make Texas the eleventh state to have restricted coverage for elective abortion procedures.
“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,” said Governor Abbott in a statement he released following the signing of the private insurance coverage law.
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According to the HB 214’s sponsor, the rape insurance coverage will cost a woman between $12 and $80 per year.
The bill passed both the Texas House and Senate this month, moving along very quickly following votes that were essentially along party lines. The primary reason opponents decried the bill was that it did not offer an exception in the case of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest.
Under the definition of the measure, if a woman wanted an abortion for a pregnancy in those circumstances, it would be considered non-emergency and elective and she would either need to have purchased supplemental abortion insurance or would need to pay for the procedure out of her own pocket.
Abortion rights groups have stated that they intend to launch a court battle to stop the rape insurance bill from officially becoming a law.