Se­nate gives ini­tial OK to abor­tion bill

Austin American-Statesman - - STATESMAN AT THE LEGISLATURE - — CHUCK LIN­DELL, AMER­I­CAN-STATESMAN

The Texas Se­nate, vot­ing 19-10, gave ini­tial ap­proval Wed­nes­day to a bill that would ban in­surance cov­er­age for abor­tions in the state.

Se­nate Bill 20 by state Sen. Larry Tay­lor, R-Friendswood, would pro­hibit abor­tion cov­er­age in pri­vate plans, un­der the Af­ford­able Care Act and in state-is­sued in­surance plans, ex­cept for med­i­cal emer­gen­cies. Those in­ter­ested in abor­tion cov­er­age would have to pur­chase sup­ple­men­tal cov­er­age if of­fered by their in­surer.

Tay­lor said SB 20 would pre­vent abor­tion op­po­nents from hav­ing to pay for the pro­ce­dure for oth­ers through pre­mi­ums or tax dol­lars. Abor­tion rights ad­vo­cates say the bill re­stricts ac­cess to health care, dis­pro­por­tion­ately af­fects low-in­come Tex­ans and does not in­clude ex­cep­tions for rape or in­cest.

The Se­nate is ex­pected to take a fi­nal vote on SB 20 as early as Mon­day, send­ing it to the House. A sim­i­lar bill passed the Se­nate in 2015 but died in the House.

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