Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed into law Tuesday a bill that will dramatically reduce the amount of state funding that goes into subsidizing health insurance coverage for abortion. As a result of the new law, Texans will not longer have to pay for abortions through their health plans. The law should not only bring down health premiums for many in the Lone Star State but, more importantly, will ensure that pro-life advocates are no longer forced to pony up money so that others can have low-cost abortions.
“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. “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.”
Last week, in the House debate over the bill, Rep. John Smithee explained that it was not an attempt to punish women or curtail the availability of abortions.
“What we’re saying here is: If you want to buy this coverage, you can buy it,” Smithee said. “This isn’t about who can get an abortion. It is about who is forced to pay for an abortion.”
In an interview with Fox News last week, one of the bill’s opponents said the plan would be analogous to gauging insurance customers to pay extra for a vision plan.
“No woman plans to be raped,” said Democrat State Rep. Chris Turner. “No parent plans for their child to be a victim of incest. The idea that a woman would be forced to consider purchasing for herself – or a parent would be forced to purchase for their child – essentially a rape insurance policy should be abhorrent.”
There have been varying viewpoints on just how much of a difference the law will make in practical terms – most women who have abortions already pay out of pocket for several reasons. Even so, proponents of the law say it pushes back on one of the biggest lies of the feminist left.
In testimony before the Texas Senate, Elizabeth Graham of Texas Right to Life said, “One of the talking points we’ve heard lately is abortion should be considered health care. Really, the definition of health care is to make a person well and to encourage health. The definition of a successful abortion is the complete death of the unborn child.”
Until Democrats find a way to put this issue before the courts – and you know they will – it will be one form of “health care” that Texans don’t have to subsidize through insurance.