The Texas state Senate has passed a bill that would forbid private insurance companies from covering abortions unless it is done to save the life of the mother. If passed into law, Texas would become the 11th state to ban such coverage entirely, along with 15 states that bans it for ACA health care exchange policies.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that the group of misfits calling themselves the Tea Party in the Texas Legislature won’t consider a session complete without passing at least one bill that decimates women’s right to control their own healthcare. 2011 saw the sonogram bill that mandated a series of unnecessary medical procedures before a woman can get an abortion, and 2013 brought the infamous HB 2 that shut down nearly every abortion clinic in the state. And now, the Texas Senate has approved a bill that prohibits private health insurance companies from covering abortion, except when there is a “medical emergency” threatening the life of the mother.
The bill, SB 575, authored by Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood) passed the Senate by a vote of 21-10 that was almost entirely on party lines, with our old friend, anti-choice Democrat Eddie Lucio, voting in favor of the bill. As the Houston Chronicle noted, the bill is “the first major measure related to [abortion]to make it out of either chamber this session.”
Taylor says that his bill permits women to get “elective” abortions, but they will have to pay for them out of pocket. Importantly, the bill does not include exceptions in cases of rape or incest, severe fetal abnormalities, or certain instances which endanger the health of the mother.
Now remember, this is passed by the “party of smaller government” that throws a temper tantrum about virtually everything regulation of business, that considers the contraception mandate in the Affordable Care Act to be Nazi-style tyranny. But they’re more than happy to force a private company from providing a service that their customers want if they don’t like that service personally. When you force a company to offer a product to their customers, that’s Hitler-like tyranny, an outrageous destruction of the free market and the death of religious freedom; when you force a company not to offer a product to their customers even if they want that product, that’s standing up for the baby Jesus and standing up for small government and freedom and cute fluffy kittens.
The phrase “smaller government” is a marketing slogan, not a serious political position.