Washington voters were the first in the country to vote to legalize abortion in 1970, before Roe v. Wade was decided. It’s always been an abortion-friendly state. But how far is the state willing to go in its support for abortion?
It’s one thing to have abortion remain legal. It’s quite another to mandate that abortion be covered by insurance policies in the state, which is what Washington lawmakers are poised to do. Not surprisingly, this bill has the full support of NARAL behind it.
Washington state legislators are debating a law that would require insurance companies to pay for abortions.
If passed, Washington would become the first state in the nation to mandate insurers cover the procedure, Christian News reports.
“This is a core value for Washingtonians,” said Melanie Smith, a lobbyist with NARAL Pro-Choice in Washington, as quoted by The Associated Press. “We should protect it while we still have it and not leave access to basic health care up to an insurance company.”
Lawmakers in the House passed The Reproductive Parity Act with a 53-43 vote earlier this month. The Senate, however, may not view it so favorably, Christian News reports. The governor is on board. Christian News quotes Gov. Jay Inslee: “We are going to insist that we are not going to let anybody close the door to democracy in this state.”
If this bill is passed, then any business owner who opposes abortion will be forced to choose between providing insurance for his employees and violating his conscience. This isn’t a question of abortion access. It’s mandating that every single citizen of Washington state be willing to fund abortion. There’s no “choice” whatsoever in this measure, which NARAL is standing behind.
Also disturbing is the classification of elective abortion on demand as “basic health care.” Killing a child is just something basic now, part of a woman’s regular health care regime. Never mind that there’s nothing basic about abortion, and it’s certainly not health care.
The question now is whether or not state Senate leaders will allow this bill to pass. If it does, Washington will be the first state to have a coercive coverage law. And pro-aborts are watching carefully. As Guttmacher Institute state issues manager Elizabeth Nash says, this could become a model for other states to follow.