Texas Senate passes restrictions on abortion insurance

Texas Senate passes restrictions on abortion insurance

Marissa Evans, Texas Tribune

The Texas Senate on Wednesday gave initial approval to a measure that would require women to pay a separate premium if they want their health plan to cover an elective abortion.

Under Senate Bill 20, health plans would still be allowed to cover abortions that are deemed medically necessary. The measure does not make exceptions for cases of rape or incest.

The vote was 19-10. The measure will get a final vote before heading to the House.

“If you go back to the basics of insurance, it’s to cover large, unexpected expenses,” said the bill’s author, state Sen. Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood. “In the case of abortion, you’re electing to have that procedure done.”

The bill is one of a number of abortion restrictions the Senate has approved recently. Earlier this week, the chamber passed Senate Bill 25, which would preventing parents from suing doctors if their baby is born with a birth defect and Senate Bill 415 which would require doctors to make sure a fetus is deceased before performing a certain type of abortion. Last week, Texas senators passed Senate Bill 8, which would  ban what opponents call “partial-birth” abortions and put restrictions on donating fetal tissue.

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