Critics of the bill are calling it especially cruel and a detriment to women’s health in general. If put into law, the bill will take effect as soon as Dec. 1 and force women to buy supplemental plans if they wish to have abortions, even if induced by rape.
Considering the Senate has already passed a very similar measure, and Governor Greg Abbott has already come out publicly showing his support, it’s only a matter of time before the bill gets signed.
“Women and parents will be faced with the horrific decision of having to purchase ‘rape insurance’ to cover them if they are victimized,” Democratic Representative Chris Turner said in a statement. “This is not only ridiculous, but it is cruel.”
“No woman plans to be raped. 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.”
The bill’s sponsor, Republican John Smithee, says it’s not that simple, though.
“It’s a question of economic freedom and freedom in general. This isn’t about who can get an abortion. It is about who is forced to pay for an abortion.”
By that, he means, he doesn’t want opponents of abortion being forced to subsidize it.
But, looking at it a different way, it will force women to completely absorb the costs of abortion. Every male in Texas with an insurance plan won’t have to pay into the pool of funds helping to support its costs. That will cost women more, which is another way for Texas Republicans to make women’s health care more expensive.
Also – if women don’t buy the supplemental insurance, which many lawmakers are betting that they won’t – it will make getting an abortion that much more unlikely.
“This bill takes us backwards,” said Rep. Ina Minjarez, D-San Antonio. “This bill is about denying Texas women their right to a safe abortion.”
Currently, 10 other states ban private insurance plans from covering abortions. Texas is about to be added to that list.