On Tuesday, Governor Greg Abbott of Texas signed House Bill 214 into law while flanked by the bill’s anti-abortion champions in the state’s legislature. The new law will make it necessary for women to pay for an abortion — a legitimate medical procedure and the only one singled out — out of their own pockets.
“Nicknamed the ‘rape insurance’ bill for its cruel lack of exceptions for rape, incest, or fetal abnormalities, HB 214 mandates abortion coverage be removed from all private, state-offered, and Affordable Care Act insurance plans and sold as a separate… policy,” says Peck.
The GOP’s stated purpose is to “prevent those with moral, religious and philosophical objections from having to pay for the procedure.” Neither the governor nor the legislature had any suggestions for the Texans who want to subsidize abortions via group health plans.
The intention of such a law is clear: to stigmatize and further restrict access to abortion in a state where access is already so poor. On another level, notes Peck, “the language of laws like HB 214 and its predecessor HB 2 — which shuttered more than half of the abortion clinics in the state before the Supreme Court overturned it — propagate the message that abortion is both immoral and frivolous, somehow less vital than any other medical procedure.”