Texas Republican Wants to Ban Insurance Companies From Covering Abortions for Rape Victims on ‘Woman’s Word Alone’
A Texas state senator introduced an amendment to a bill banning insurance companies from covering abortions to eliminate the exception for rape and incest victims unless there’s a police report.
On Wednesday, the Texas Senate passed SB 575 to ban insurance plans from covering abortion.
Democratic State Senator Sylvia Garcia offered an amendment to the bill to create exceptions for victims of rape and incest but Republican Senator Donna Campbell moved to modify the amendment to only include exceptions if there is a police report because a woman’s word alone is not “measurable” and the exception would “enable” abusers by not forcing victims to report the crimes.
Democratic Senator Kirk Watson countered that many women don’t report crimes in fear of retribution.
“Instead of encouraging that hypothetical situation into moving into protection for her by law enforcement, we’re saying, let’s cover that violation with an insurance payment,” Campbell said. “When she gets the abortion, I would question, are we empowering the perpetrator because now out of a coercion, [the abortion is] paid for by an insurance company, and then it may happen to her again?”
“This is talking about an insurance policy,” she added. “When it’s reported, something that’s measurable within the box, that when it’s reported to law enforcement authorities. Then we have something measurable, that insurance companies like to have specific codes, that they then have something that they can then hang their hat on.”
Watson retorted, explaining that Campbell’s amendment would “put the burden on the incest victim or put the burden on the rape victim.”
“We ought to let her make those decisions as opposed to you and me right now on this floor trying to come up with a scenario where we’re worried about what we might do with the perpetrator,” Watson said. “The perpetrator is bad. We all know that. But the situation that the young woman finds herself in is also very bad and horrible and we’re going to make that worse. I think what we ought to do is we ought to trust women.”
“You will be creating a situation where women who are already victims will be further victimized,” he added. “I would ask that you not do this.”
Cambell replied by saying her restrictions would help “stop a perpetrator by reporting the assault, the incest.” And if women were not forced to report assaults, “we lose the opportunity to help protect and defend the woman who is the victim here. Personally, I believe that if we’re asking an insurance company to pay for an abortion, we should also show that we’re doing everything we can to help them — in the cases of sexual assault or incest — that we’re doing everything we can to help find the perpetrator.”
Ultimately, the bill’s sponsor rejected the Campbell amendment anyway and the bill was passed without any exceptions for rape and incest victims at all.