Texas Senate OKs restricting insurance coverage for abortion

by www.chron.com
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Republican-controlled Texas Senate backed a plan Saturday night to restrict insurance coverage for abortions, over the objections of opponents who expressed concern it could force some women to make heart-wrenching choices because no exceptions will be made in cases of rape and incest. Both Creighton and its House sponsor, Republican Rep. John Smithee, said the rules only apply to "elective" abortions and promote "economic freedom" by not forcing Texas policyholders who object to the procedure to help pay for insurance coverage for women undergoing it. State policy analyst Elizabeth Nash of the Guttmacher Institute, a national research group that supports abortion rights, said she knows of no current analysis of the impact of states imposing coverage restrictions, nor the extent to which health plans offer supplemental coverage for abortion. Nancy Northup, president of the New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights, depicted the insurance bans as "a shocking infringement" on women's right to opt for private insurance to cover a legal medical procedure. The insurance bans also have been criticized by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which says insurance coverage of abortion should be comparable to that of other essential health care services.
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