governor signs bill to limit insurance coverage for
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[August 16, 2017] By
AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - The Republican
governor of Texas signed into law on Tuesday a measure that will
restrict insurance coverage for abortions, compelling women to buy a
supplemental plan if they want coverage for the procedure.
Governor Greg Abbott said the measure known as House Bill 214 would
protect abortion opponents from subsidizing the procedure.
Democratic critics decried it as forcing people to buy "rape
Texas, the most-populous Republican-controlled state, has been at
the forefront in enacting abortion restrictions, with many of its
measures followed by other socially conservative states. But when HB
214 goes into law on Dec. 1, Texas will be the 11th state to
restrict abortion coverage in private insurance plans written in the
"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," Abbott said in a statement.
The Republican sponsor of a Senate bill on abortion insurance
restriction, Brandon Creighton, has told local media supplemental
coverage would cost $12 to $80 a year.
House Bill 214, which passed both chambers this month, mostly on a
party-line vote, does not offer exceptions for cases of rape or
incest. Abortion rights groups said they plan a court fight to
prevent it from becoming law.
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"By signing HB 214 into law, Governor Abbott has told women and
parents they must pay extra for what is tantamount to 'rape
insurance,'" Democratic Representative Chris Turner, who opposed the
bill, said on Tuesday.
There are 25 states with restrictions on abortion coverage in plans
set up by state exchanges as part of the Affordable Care Act under
former Democratic President Barack Obama, according to the
Guttmacher Institute, which tracks such legislation.
Also on Tuesday, Abbott signed another measure that expands
reporting requirements for complications arising from abortions.
(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Edited by Colleen Jenkins and Sandra
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