New ban on abortion coverage easily clears Texas Senate

By PAUL J. WEBER
Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Most abortions in Texas could not be covered by insurance purchased through the Affordable Care Act under a bill that has cleared the Republican-controlled Senate.

The bill passed Tuesday is the first abortion law to clear the Senate since Wendy Davis temporarily sidetracked sweeping restrictions with a nearly 13-hour filibuster in 2013.

The Senate this time was a far different scene. The gallery was mostly empty and the bill quickly passed along party lines after Democrats raised only brief objections.

About two dozen states already prohibit abortion coverage under plans purchased through the federal marketplace. Republicans say it prevents other insured Texans from paying for a procedure they believe is morally wrong.

Unlike two years ago, abortion has been a relatively quiet issue in Republican Gov. Greg Abbott's first session.

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