Proposed legislation in Texas could remove elective abortion coverage from policies across the state, forcing women to pay for separate coverage.
Two similar versions of the bill have already passed the Texas House and Senate. If either body approves just one of the others' versions, the approved bill would go straight to Gov. Greg Abbott's desk for his signature.
There are two main perspectives on the proposed laws. Conservatives said the bills would mean neither your tax dollars nor the money you pay toward your insurance plans would go toward funding elective abortions anymore. For context, an elective abortion is one not performed in a medical emergency.
Liberals said the bills would mean women who want abortions would need to pay more for a separate health policy on top of their existing plan, or they would have to pay out of pocket. The Texas Department of Insurance said, if one of the laws passes, some providers might choose not to offer the extra policy at all. And, it is unclear what the extra policy might cost.
Planned Parenthood expressed concern women would not buy the extra insurance until it was too late.
"For women who are victims of rape or incest or a fetus abnormality, it is an enormous barrier that she anticipate that she find herself in this situation," Planned Parenthood Spokesperson Sarah Wheat said.
But, pro-life groups said the proposed legislation was a moral victory for the millions of Americans who oppose abortion.
"In abortion you are targeting somebody. Your targeting for death, that's what you are targeting for. You're going to die. And those of us that don't like that targeting, we don't want to pay for it," Pro-Life Waco Director John Pisciotta said.
If passed, the legislation would affect any Texas insurance policy issued or renewed after April 1, 2018.
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