WASHINGTON – In a victory for the pro-life movement, the state of Texas has restricted taxpayer funding for abortions.
On Tuesday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a law barring taxpayer-subsidized insurance plans and Medicaid funds from covering abortions, except for cases when the mother’s life is in danger.
“As a firm believer in Texas values I am proud to sign legislation that ensures no Texan is ever required to pay for a procedure that ends the life of an unborn child,” Abbott said. “This bill prohibits insurance providers from forcing Texas policy holders to subsidize elective abortions. I am grateful to the Texas legislature for getting this bill to my desk, and working to protect innocent life this special session.”
LifeSiteNews.com reported other Texas lawmakers joined Abbott in celebrating the new law. Among them was state Rep. John Smithee, who said during debate on the law that “what we’re saying here is: If you want to buy this coverage, you can buy it. This isn’t about who can get an abortion. It is about who is forced to pay for an abortion.”
State Sen. Brandon Creighton agreed.
“Texas must take steps to prohibit taxpayer and premium dollars from subsidizing abortions that are not medically necessary,” he said.
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, also praised the law, calling out Planned Parenthood by name on his Facebook page for its history of atrocities.
“Planned Parenthood has been subject to a series of thorough investigations by both chambers in Congress, where evidence of gross misconduct, including a widespread practice of trafficking fetal body parts directly violating federal and state law, was discovered. The state of Texas took the only responsible course of action and eliminated Planned Parenthood from eligibility for state Medicaid funds. These measures were sensible, within Texas’ sovereign and statutory authority, and necessary to protect Texans from the organization’s dangerous practices.”
Advocates of abortion on-demand opposed the move.
Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, complained about the bill limiting women’s access to abortion after they discover that their baby may be disabled, according to the Chicago Tribune. Elizabeth Nash, a policy analyst at the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, told the Tribune, “My sense is that there isn’t any identifiable impact of these restrictions since most women pay out of pocket already.”
LifeSiteNews.com reported that Abby Johnson, a former Texas Planned Parenthood director who is now a pro-life advocate, said that “just because abortion is legal does not mean that people who have significant moral concerns with the taking of innocent life – as they believe abortion does – need to pay for it through their health insurance.”
“Abortion advocates automatically go to the far reaches of hysteria and assume the worst with this kind of legislation: that women won’t be able to get abortions when they want them. Women have access to abortion but those of us who believe it is the intentional ending of a human life shouldn’t have to pay for it.”
Texas joins 10 other states – Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Indiana and Utah – in banning taxpayer funding for abortion.