Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill into law on Tuesday forcing the state’s women to pay more for health insurance if they want abortions to be covered. The bill’s opponents have dubbed it “rape insurance” because it contains no exceptions for rape, incest, or fetal abnormality.
The bill, House Bill 214, will require women to pay an extra insurance premium if they want their health insurance to cover a non-emergency abortion down the road, the Texas Tribune reported.
Republicans who backed the bill couldn’t fathom the notion of subsidizing women’s abortions through their own insurance premiums, so they decided to find yet another way to insert themselves into one of the most intimate areas of a woman’s life. And never mind that Texans’ health premiums also effectively subsidize all kinds of things a person might not personally have an interest in covering—like erectile disfunction pills, to name just one example—because that’s how the health insurance industry works, absent religious zealotry.
Now Texas women are left having to plan–and budget–for the worst.
“Women don’t plan to be raped. Parents don’t plan for their children to be victims of incest,” Texas State Rep. Chris Turner, a Democrat, said about the law. “Asking a woman or a parent to foresee something like that and buy supplemental insurance to cover that horrific possibility is not only ridiculous, it is cruel.”
The bill’s author, Republican Rep. John Smithee, said the law “isn’t about who can get an abortion. It is about who is forced to pay for an abortion.”
Of course, measures like this, which Smithee also spun as a win for “economic freedom,” will hit low-income women and women from marginalized populations the hardest.
The law is one of three strictly anti-abortion laws that Abbott has prioritized during the special legislative session.