Today, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed legislation to prohibit taxpayers from funding elective abortions through their health insurance plans. House Bill 214 (HB 214), which Abbott’s statement called “an important piece of the Governor’s pro-life agenda,” was championed by Sen. Brandon Creighton and Rep. John Smithee in a special session. The measure does not contain exceptions for rape, incest, or fetal abnormalities.
“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.”
Rep. John Smithee, the lead author of the bill, said the initiative protects the conscience rights of individuals who object to their tax dollars subsidizing abortions: “This isn’t about who can get an abortion. It is about who is forced to pay for an abortion.”
Abbott called for the special legislative session to focus on the bill, along with legislation requiring doctors and facilities to report complications associated with abortions in detail.
Pro-life leaders praised the move. In her testimony before the Texas Senate committee, Elizabeth Graham urged lawmakers to protect the preborn. “The definition of healthcare is to make a person well and to encourage health,” Graham explained. “The definition of a successful abortion is the complete death of the unborn child.”
Abbott has been a strong proponent of pro-life values, and he vowed to make Texas the “strongest pro-life state in the nation.”