After clearing a House panel on Saturday, a bill prohibiting health insurers from covering abortion in all cases save for medical emergencies is up against the clock to be considered by the full chamber before a legislative deadline next week.
The House State Affairs Committee passed Senate Bill 575 by Republican Larry Taylor of Friendswood on a 7-1 vote after amending it to only ban insurance coverage on health insurance purchased through the federal Affordable Care Act’s marketplace.
Originally, SB 575 would have banned abortion coverage on both ACA plans and private health insurance plans. The committee instead amended the bill so that it mirrored a measure filed in the House by state Rep. Marsha Farney, R-Georgetown, and approved by the committee this month before dying on a House bill deadline.
Under SB 575, women seeking coverage for what Taylor has called “elective” abortions would be required to purchase supplemental health insurance plans.
The measure still has to clear several hurdles. It must be placed on the House calendar by 10 p.m. Sunday and passed on the floor by Tuesday.
If the bill dies, it is likely to garner criticism from conservatives and anti-abortion activists who had said the Legislature had not prioritized legislation to further restrict abortion.