Texas Gov. Abbott Permanently BANS Taxpayer Funded Abortions
On Tuesday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a new law banning taxpayer funded abortions. “The new law will keep Texans from having to pay for elective abortions through their insurance plans,” reports Lifesitenews.com.
“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,” Gov. Abbott said. “This bill prohibits insurance providers from forcing Texas policy holders to subsidize elective abortions. I am grateful to the Texas legislature for getting this bill to my desk, and working to protect innocent life this special session.”
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HB-214, which the House passed last week and the Senate approved Sunday, applies to “elective” abortions and specifically includes an exemption for cases of medical emergency to save the mother’s life.
“What we’re saying here is: If you want to buy this coverage, you can buy it,” Republican Rep. John Smithee said during the House debate. “This isn’t about who can get an abortion. It is about who is forced to pay for an abortion.”
In the past, Texas law on abortion has faced major headwinds. In June of last year, the Supreme Court struck down a law which would have shut down nearly all of the state’s abortion centers.
Guardian UK reported:
The US supreme court on Monday struck down one of the harshest abortion restrictions in the country and potentially paved the way to overturn dozens of measures in other states that curtail access, in what might be the most significant legal victory for reproductive rights advocates since the right to abortion was established in 1973.
The 5-3 ruling will immediately prevent Texas from enforcing a law that would have closed all but nine abortion clinics. But in a coup for abortion rights supporters, the court also in effect barred lawmakers from passing health measures backed by dubious medical evidence as a way of forcing large numbers of abortion clinics to close.
Justice Stephen Breyer wrote the opinion for the majority and was joined by justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Anthony Kennedy, whose support was key to determining if the liberal or conservative bloc of the court would prevail.
“We conclude that neither of these provisions offers medical benefits sufficient to justify the burdens upon access that each imposes,” Breyer’s opinion read. “Each places a substantial obstacle in the path of women seeking a previability abortion, each constitutes an undue burden on abortion access … and each violates the Federal Constitution.”