Stalwart Pro-Lifers, and past honorees of Texas Right to Life, Representative John Smithee (R-Amarillo) and Senator Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood), have introduced important legislation to protect Texans from paying for abortion through their health insurance. Over the last two years, a hailstorm of controversy has ensued over federal mandates to pay for abortions, further exposing the many revenue streams through which unknowing taxpayers fund the abortion industry. In Texas, some plans force all subscribers to foot the bill for the abortions of others, while other providers blur their policies on abortion coverage.
The bills introduced by Representative Smithee, House Bill 1435, and Senator Taylor, SB 575, change private insurance coverage for abortion to separate supplemental plans so that consumers do not help subsidize the abortion of others through their risk pools. Additionally, if our Lone Star State ever does establish the state exchanges mandated by PPACA, Texas can opt out of including abortion coverage in the exchange as 25 other states have already done. Section 1303(a)(1) of PPACA specifically allows states to set their own parameters if a state exchange is established. The third part of the Pro-Life Health Insurance Reform Bill limits abortion coverage for state employees to a narrowly-defined medical emergency.
House author Representative John Smithee has previously spent over two decades as Chairman of the House Committee on Insurance; thus, not only is he well-versed on the topic, but the Pro-Life ethic is dear to his heart, as evidenced by his moving floor speech in favor of House Bill 2 in July of 2013. Senator Larry Taylor is a staunch Pro-Life legislator and has achieved Proudly Pro-Life and Perfectly Pro-Life Awards throughout his tenure in the Legislature.
Texans should have access to the same conscience protections as those in so many other states, and Texans should not be forced to pay for abortion coverage that they do not want and do not need. Please contact your representative and senator to ask them to co-author this priority for Texas Right to Life and to help move these bills as swiftly as possible.