AUSTIN (KXAN) — State Rep. Sheryl Cole and Sen. Sarah Eckhardt, both Austin Democrats, filed bills in the Texas Legislature to require health insurance coverage of abortions under Medicaid and lift restrictions on coverage by private insurers.
“Rosie’s Law” is named after Rosie Jimenez, a McAllen woman who is believed to be the first woman to die after the passage of the Hyde Amendment, which blocks federal funds being used to pay for abortions.
Jimenez died at 27 after an illegal abortion in 1977.
“It’s important that we recognize that abortion is health care,” Eckhardt said during a virtual press conference on Tuesday. “Denying insurance coverage for abortions can push care out of reach, especially for those who are working to make ends meet and are trying to chart a course for a better future for themselves.”
The bill faces a tough road ahead with the Republican-controlled Texas House and Senate, though Eckhardt and Cole cited polls that said a majority of Texans support insurance coverage of abortions.
If approved and signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott, Rosie’s Law would take effect on Sept. 1.