There are plenty of good things about Texas. It’s a state rich in history and great food, but sadly it’s politics leaves a lot to be desired. Controlled by Republicans, the state is one of the most conservative in the country, especially when it comes to reproductive rights. Sadly, a bill signed into law by Texas Governor Greg Abbott makes things even worse.
The bill has been nicknamed the “rape insurance bill” because it requires abortion coverage be removed from plans which receive public funding. This includes private, state-offered, and Affordable Care Act plans. Instead, those who seek coverage for abortion will need to purchase separate insurance. The bill also makes no exceptions for rape, incest, or fetal issues. To make matters worse, this may mean that Texas women will be incapable of purchasing insurance that covers abortion, as it is unclear how much profit there would be in offering abortion-only insurance.
Abbott has said that the goal of this bill is to protect those who have a moral objection to abortion from having to pay for the procedure. Of course, Abbott doesn’t seem concerned with the women’s whose lives could be ruined or even lost by not having access to abortion.
‘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. Under this new law Texans will not be forced to pay for elective abortions through their insurance plans.’
The number of people impacted by this bill will likely be small, but only because it is so difficult to get coverage for abortion in the first place. Sadly, the people who are most likely to be affected by this bill are those who wanted children but had something go wrong during the pregnancy. Forcing them to carry the child to term only makes the situation more painful for them.
Dr. Sealy Massingill, the chief medical officer for the Texas branch of Planned Parenthood, says that these bills only make it more difficult for women to get access to the care that they need.
‘Over the past couple of sessions, the legislature has decided they don’t want to make exceptions for horrible fetal conditions. Women who have these conditions and need to have a termination in the hospital, especially if they’re medically ill—these bans make it difficult to access care. To further restrict women who are already in painful and difficult situations, give them one more thing to be stressed about… it’s unconscionable.’
Massingill also warned that, despite what some seem to think, abortion is not some elective cosmetic procedure. Giving birth always carries risks and any complication with the fetus compounds those risks. Women could die as a result of not having access to abortion. Texas, which already has a high rate of maternal mortality rate, is only making things worse with anti-choice measures such as these.
‘This is not elective cosmetic surgery. Every woman that’s pregnant is at risk of dying from her pregnancy every time.’
Featured image via Getty Images.