The state of Texas has taken an important step toward protecting the lives of unborn children.
On Tuesday, Governor Greg Abbott signed a law that will prevent Texans from having to pay for elective abortions through their insurance plans. As Life Site reported, the Republican governor had called a special legislative session to focus on passing the bill and another piece of legislation that would require health care professionals to provide greater detail when reporting abortion complications to the state.
“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 at the bill signing. “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.”
— Gov. Greg Abbott (@GovAbbott) August 15, 2017
Supporters of the stricter abortion measures, which apply only to “elective procedures,” said the new law will not deny access to women seeking insurance coverage, rather it prohibits taxpayer and premium dollars from subsidizing abortions that are not medically necessary. Exemptions will be made in cases of medical emergencies to save a mother’s life.
“What we’re saying here is: If you want to buy this coverage, you can buy it,” Republican Rep. John Smithee said during the House debate. “This isn’t about who can get an abortion. It is about who is forced to pay for an abortion.”
Critics, meanwhile, argued that the bill does not protect against cases of rape or “fetal disabilities,” and Democratic legislators unsuccessfully rallied to add additional exemptions to the law. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists also came out against the bill, claiming abortion is “essential” healthcare.
But Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood director who now runs the nonprofit And Then There Were None, said the “hysteria” over legislation like the Texas bill is misplaced.
“Abortion advocates automatically go to the far reaches of hysteria and assume the worst with this kind of legislation: that women won’t be able to get abortions when they want them,” she said. “Women have access to abortion but those of us who believe it is the intentional ending of a human life shouldn’t have to pay for it.”
(H/T: Life Site)