Shockwaves are resounding through the Texas chambers as House Bill 214 was just granted preliminary approval by the House in a 95-51 vote.
The bill would prohibit insurance providers from covering an abortion unless the life of the mother is in danger, according to the Houston Chronicle. HB 214 is set to go for a third reading after this preliminary approval, which would be the final time it goes before the House.
John Smithee, R-Amarillo, says the bill isn’t about restricting who can get an abortion, but who has to pay for it. House Democrats were incensed over Smithee’s bill, which would require women to pay out of pocket for an operation men would never have to use.
“This bill takes us backwards,” Rep. Ina Minjarez, D-San Antonio, said in an interview. “This bill is about denying Texas women their right to a safe abortion.”
Another legislator said the bill would basically force women to buy “rape insurance” since HB 214 doesn’t even make an allowance for rape or victims of incest. That legislator — Chris Turner, D-Grand Prairie — tried to amend the bill to include a provision for rape and incest without success.
Other states have banned abortion through Affordable Care Act providers, but many have an allowance in the law for rape and incest. HB 214 is part of the special legislative session called by Gov. Greg Abbott.