STATEMENT: Texas House Passes HB 214, a Ban on Private Insurance Coverage for Abortion

Texas House Passes HB 214, a Ban on Private Insurance Coverage for Abortion

For Release: 8-8-2017

Contact: Sharmeen Aly, sharmeen@prochoicetexas.org

Austin, TX — Today, the Texas House passed on second reading House Bill 214, a ban on private insurance coverage for abortion. The bill does not make exceptions for rape, incest or fetal anomalies.

Heather Busby, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, released the following statement upon passage —

“Texans should be able to make reproductive health decisions, including the decision to have an abortion, with dignity and respect and without politicians interfering with abortion coverage bans like HB 214. Texans from across the state fought hard this special session to preserve and protect our health and basic rights. Unfortunately, some politicians remain single-mindedly fixated on pushing abortion out of reach in our state. If last year’s Supreme Court ruling won’t slow them down—Texans will have to do it ourselves.

We will continue making our voices heard and growing our numbers until we can defeat these politically-motivated attacks on abortion coverage.”

STATEMENT: Gov. Abbott Announces More Devastating Attacks on Abortion Access for Special Session

For Release: 6-6-2017

Contact: Sharmeen Aly, sharmeen@prochoicetexas.org

Austin, TX — Today, Gov. Greg Abbott announced a special session to begin July 18 and laid out several pieces of anti-abortion legislation as his priorities, including a ban on private insurance coverage for abortion, burdensome reporting requirements for abortion providers and further regulations on how governments can contract with organizations like Planned Parenthood.

Gov. Abbott also signed into law SB 8, a cruel and shameful anti-abortion bill that severely restricts access to health care and effectively bans second trimester abortions.

Heather Busby, executive director at NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, released the following statement upon the announcement —

“It is disgusting and shameful that Gov. Abbott is wasting taxpayer dollars to force through even more regulations on our reproductive freedoms, especially after signing such a harmful bill in SB 8. And it is even more despicable that he is using the special session to systematically deny our human rights and civil liberties, wrenching away local control, attacking transgender people, forcing through school vouchers, and taking away our ability to unionize.

Restricting access to vital health care and targeting medical providers is cruel, hateful and dangerous. Gov. Abbott’s priorities for the special session jeopardize Texans’ health and safety and disproportionately impact low-income Texans, people of color and their families, and young people.

There is nothing ‘pro-life’ about denying health care to those who need it. Our reproductive rights are not political bargaining chips to be traded away.”

STATEMENT: Texas Legislature Advances Omnibus Anti-Abortion Bill

Texas Legislature Advances Cruel and Shameful Anti-Abortion Bill That Severely Restricts Access to Health Care

For Release: 5-26-2017

Contact: Sharmeen Aly, sharmeen@prochoicetexas.org

AUSTIN, TX — Today, the Texas Senate voted 22 to 9 to accept the House amendments added to Senate Bill 8, an omnibus bill that would require burial or cremation of embryonic and fetal tissue, ban the use of fetal tissue for research and ban an extremely safe and medically approved method of abortion. With today’s vote, the bill is now headed for Governor Greg Abbott’s desk. Heather Busby, executive director at NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, released the following statement upon passage —

“In a complete disregard for previous court rulings, including last year’s Supreme Court decision reaffirming the right to an abortion, the Texas Legislature has passed another dangerous bill that will place an undue burden on people seeking an abortion. Texas taxpayers will now have to pay for expensive litigation because lawmakers insist on passing bills they know are unconstitutional, simply to appease an extremist anti-choice lobby.

SB 8 effectively bans second trimester abortions and will make abortion care immensely harder to access. This bill does nothing to benefit health and safety and is a dangerous intrusion into the doctor-patient relationship. Politics have no place in the exam room.

SB 8 severely restricts access to abortion and shames and stigmatizes people who have abortions. This is another shameful measure by the Texas Legislature.”

Anti-Abortion Bills and House Bill Deadline Week

It’s a big week for House bills at the Texas Legislature. Thursday marks the last day that the full House can debate and vote on bills that originated in that chamber, and the following anti-abortion bills are expected to come up for debate before then—

House Bill 2962—This bill increases abortion complications reporting requirements for hospitals and other medical facilities. Abortion is already one of the safest medical procedures and Texas already has rigorous standards and reporting requirements in place. This bill is another in a long line of attacks on abortion providers and the abortion procedure with the goal of intimidating and shaming Texans seeking care.

House Bill 3771—This bill changes the definition of “abortion” in statute to clarify that surgeries to remove ectopic pregnancies are not considered an abortion under state law and therefore patients do not have to endure medically unnecessary and stigmatizing restrictions such as state-mandated biased counseling or forced sonograms. Because it does not include exemptions for other pregnancy-related complications and makes exceptions for some circumstances but not others, this bill is clearly another attempt to politicize abortion.

House Bill 1936—This bill is a broadly defunds Planned Parenthood by prohibiting “taxpayer resource transactions” with abortion facilities. This bill is yet another in a long line of legislation to shut down abortion providers and harm the health of men and women who seek health care services at Planned Parenthood.

House Bill 200—This bill contains a copy of a federal ban on a specific method of abortion; it also prohibits the donation of fetal tissue from an abortion for research purposes and requires cremation and burial of embryonic/fetal tissue following an abortion.

House Bill 2858—This bill requires abortion facilities to post informational and assistance for human trafficking signs. It also increases the penalty for traffickers if the commission of the crime resulted in an abortion, as well as increases the penalties for traffickers who coerce or force a victim into having an abortion. Victims of human trafficking experience a wide variety of health problems, such as respiratory infections and dental problems. A genuine effort to identify victims should include other health care providers equally or more likely to come into contact with human trafficking victims, such as emergency rooms, dentists, and low-cost clinics. Without expanding the scope of this bill to include these providers, this bill is simply a targeted regulation of abortion providers.

CALL your House members now and demand that they oppose these political, medically unnecessary abortion restrictions. Click here to find out who represents you.

STATEMENT: Texas House Committee Hears HB 1113, a Ban on Private Insurance Coverage for Abortion

Texas House Committee Hears HB 1113, a Ban on Private Insurance Coverage for Abortion

For Release: 5-3-2017

Contact: Sharmeen Aly, sharmeen@prochoicetexas.org

Austin, TX — Today, the Texas House State Affairs Committee heard House Bill 1113, which would ban private insurance plans from covering abortion care. The bill also does not make exceptions for rape, incest or fetal anomalies and applies to all health plans offered in Texas. Heather Busby, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, released the following statement:

“The Texas Legislature should not be in the business of banning people’s access to health care, including abortion, based on their income. HB 1113 threatens Texans’ health and safety and disproportionately impacts low-income Texans, people of color and their families, and young people.

HB 1113 jeopardizes the ability of private citizens to use their own money to buy health insurance that includes abortion coverage, making it so that Texans must purchase supplemental coverage instead. No one knows in advance what surgeries or medication they may need in the future, so why do we expect Texans to know if they will need an abortion? Putting restrictions on insurance coverage for abortion is dangerous and disregards that every person’s pregnancy is different. Pregnant Texans deserve access to the full range of reproductive health care, including abortion, no matter what kind of insurance they have.

We stand against all bans that deny access to vital health care.”