Senate gives initial OK to abortion bill
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.