National News

Texas passes 2 new abortion-related laws

Posted August 15

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed two abortion-related bills into law Tuesday, including one that his office calls "pro-life insurance reform."

That measure, House Bill 214, limits insurance coverage for abortions.

"This bill prohibits insurance providers from forcing Texas policy holders to subsidize elective abortions," Abbott said. "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."

The second bill, HB 13, expands reporting requirements for complications resulting from abortions.

The passage of HB 13 means doctors must report complications from abortions within three days of the diagnosis or treatment. Doctors must also give the patient's birth year, county of residence, race and marital status.

"The health and safety of women is of the utmost importance, and we must have the most accurate data available in order to create good policy," Abbott said.

More than 54,000 Texans had abortions in 2015, according to the state's Department of Health and Human Services. But many state leaders have tried to pass legislation that would add restrictions to abortion access or clinics.

Last year, Texas' controversial House Bill 2 required doctors performing abortions to have hospital admitting privileges. It also required some abortion clinics to upgrade their facilities with more hospital-like standards -- even though many abortions are now performed with pills, not surgery.

In the end, the US Supreme Court ruled against Texas in Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt. The judges ruled that the legislation placed an "undue burden" on women seeking abortions.

Amy Hagstrom Miller, founder and CEO of Whole Woman's Health, applauded the Supreme Court's decision last year.

"After years of fighting heartless, anti-abortion Texas politicians who would seemingly stop at nothing to push abortion out of reach, I want everyone to understand: You don't mess with Texas, you don't mess with Whole Woman's Health, and you don't mess with this beautiful, powerful movement of people dedicated to reproductive health, rights, and justice," she said.

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