On May 5, the Republican-controlled Texas Senate voted 21-10 to stop health insurance coverage plans from automatically including most abortion coverage, including for rape victims.
Senate Bill 575 would apply to private health insurance plans and plans bought via the federal health care exchange website.
Republican state Sen. Larry Taylor claimed his bill would mean people who oppose abortion would not have to pay for other people's abortions. Instead, women would have to buy abortion coverage separately as an add-on rider, noted The Dallas Morning News.
Taylor stated, "They’ll just have to come up with another means to pay for it other than having all the people across the state of Texas who buy insurance being forced to pay for something they don’t believe in or agree with."
Taylor failed to mention that Texans are forced to financially support policies every day that they don’t believe in or agree with.
While the bill would provide coverage for abortion in cases where the mother's life was in danger or to stop a “substantial impairment of a major bodily function," it would not include rape victims or women who have unsustainable pregnancies.
The Houston Chronicle reports that the bill now moves to the Texas House "where a committee has already passed a similar measure that would ban abortion coverage."
Michigan passed a similar law in 2013 that was deemed "rape insurance," reported Talking Points Memo.
But this led to an apparent legal problem with women having to purchase additional "riders" for abortion coverage.
The Daily Kos quotes the Detroit News:
"In fact, the state 'opt-out' rider law clashes with provisions of the Affordable Care Act, which outlaws both separate riders and any government subsidy of abortion. Under federal law, insurers cannot offer a rider to a standard, inclusive policy. And the new state law bars insurers from including elective abortion coverage in any policy, on or off the exchange."