Lawmakers Seeking to Ban Abortion Choice from Health Plans

Pregnant WomanThere might be a big change in Texan health plans as state lawmakers are seeking to ban abortion from health plans. All health insurers operating within are in danger of being prohibited of offering abortion with the insurance packages.

In the proposed Senate Bill 575, private health insurance plans and the ones offered through the Affordable Care Act can only provide abortion services in emergencies. Women looking for “selective” abortions will have to get a supplemental plan that covers their specific needs.

Sen. Larry Taylor of Friendswood has this to say of the matter, “This bill is not a ban on elective abortions. In fact, this bill is all about choice,” Taylor told the Senate State Affairs Committee on Monday as it considered his proposal. The committee left the measure pending.”

The main aim of the proposal is to prevent premiums to be paid for underwriting abortion coverage. Texas is following the trend of 10 other states that already banned the coverage of abortion in locally offered insurance plans.

“Under this bill, you can choose to pay for abortions or you can choose not to pay for the abortions of others,” adds Taylor. Even though the proposal has received criticisms from democrats, under the federal reform law, the move is legal. It says that any state can set their own rules on abortion coverage on insurance plans.

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Judith Zaffrini, the democrat senator of Laredo, is in doubt whether purchasing supplemental plans could make abortion expensive. She also questioned whether “the practical effect of this bill would make abortion uninsurable.”

Ana Rodriguez DeFrates, a representative for the Texas Latina Advocacy Network, shares the same hesitation as the senator. “We believe every woman should be able to make the personal decision she thinks is best for her and her family and privately purchase the insurance plan that is best for her and her family.”

Since Taylor’s proposal got traction, House representatives are also mulling over Rep. Farney of Georgetown’s similar proposal.

“So no woman goes to a clinic without being able to pay for an abortion,” said Elizabeth Graham of the anti-abortion Texas Right to Life. She wanted to make a point that women don’t need insurance in the first place to be able to afford an abortion.

It’s been two years since the state passed the strictest abortion laws in the country. Also known as House Bill 2, Texas’ abortion law dictates that doctors who perform abortion to have admitting privileges within 30 miles of an abortion. Passing the proposal would make it really challenging for women to get abortion.