Texas Governor Signs 'Rape Insurance' Bill Into Law

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On Tuesday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a restrictive abortion bill into law that would require women to pay extra insurance premiums in order to obtain a “nonemergency” abortion. Detractors of the bill have described the extra health insurance premiums as “rape insurance” since the Texas bill has no exceptions for rape or incest. In addition, it makes no exception for fetal anomalies.

The Texas Tribune reports that the restrictive bill is one of three abortion bills that Abbott included on his wish list, a list of 20 high-profile bills that failed to pass in the regular session that the governor is hoping will pass during the state legislature’s special session.

“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 press release. He added that he was “grateful to the Texas Legislature for getting this bill to my desk.”

According to the Tribune, during the bill’s legislative hearings, Republicans argued that no one should be forced to subsidize abortion through insurance premiums. Democrats argued that the requirement would effectively raise women’s insurance cost by forcing them to carry “rape insurance,” as a measure of precaution. In addition to the “rape insurance” bill, Abbott also signed another abortion restriction that was on his wish list, one that requires abortion providers to share with the state detailed patient information when complications occur (the state already mandated abortion complication reporting).

Texas is already facing numerous lawsuits over the spate of abortion restrictions the state continues to pass. In July, the Center for Reproductive Rights and Planned Parenthood challenged Senate Bill 8, a wide-ranging bill that among many things banned the dilation and evacuation, a common abortion procedure.

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