Newsbreak

‘A pro-choice state’: Washington state lawmakers advance two pro-abortion bills

Two pro-abortion bills in Washington state have passed at least one legislative house and are likely to pass the second.

A bill to remove copays for abortion

Senate Bill 5242 would ensure that women undergoing abortions would not be required to pay a copayment or to meet a deductible before having the abortion covered. It passed the State Senate on Tuesday in a 29-19 vote.

“This bill is about ensuring equity and fairness for everyone receiving critical reproductive healthcare,” said Sen. Annette Cleveland (D), sponsor of the bill. “Nobody should be unable to access the care they need because of their inability to pay.”

Abortion is legal in Washington for any reason until “viability” and all state-regulated health plans that cover maternity services are mandated to also cover abortions. If an employer objects, the insurer must provide the coverage at no cost to the employees. If this new bill is enacted, it appears insurance companies will have to waive the copay as well.

Even minors can access abortion without a parent’s permission and are told to ask the insurance company to keep the billing information confidential from their parents.

The bill now heads to the House.

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Bill to protect abortionists

House Bill 1469 passed the State House on Tuesday in a vote of 59-38. According to Fox News, the bill is part of a package of bills introduced in response to the overturning of Roe v. Wade in June. The bill aims to prohibit the issuance of out-of-state subpoenas seeking information related to an abortion, prohibit out-of-state criminal investigations and arrests seeking communication and other evidence related to abortion, and prohibit the governor from extraditing any person for out-of-state charges regarding an abortion. It would also allow a person to recoup damages and legal costs for out-of-state lawsuits and protect abortionists and abortion workers from harassment.

The bill could protect sexual predators who take minors across state lines from pro-life states to Washington for an abortion, as well as abortionists who commit abortions on out-of-state women or minors. provide them with the abortion pill, and then send them home to deal with potential complications on their own.

There are virtually no laws restricting abortion in Washington, including parental consent laws. Parents whose daughters are taken to Washington for an abortion, possibly by a sexual predator, may not have the ability to file a lawsuit if this bill becomes law.

A Virginia family recently sued an abortion facility for pressuring their 15-year-old daughter to have an abortion and keep that abortion a secret from her parents. The lawsuit stated that the girl “intended to take her child to full term and intended to deliver her baby at the appropriate time.” Yet a DSS employee repeatedly told her to have an abortion and set up the appointment for her, even though the girl “remained upset throughout the process, and initially refused to cooperate with any abortion.”

“We believe in reproductive freedom here in Washington State, and we will use every tool we have to protect people in Washington from the reach of anti-abortion laws in Texas and elsewhere,” Democratic State Rep. Drew Hansen said.

This bill will now head to the Senate.

“Two important bills to protect access to abortion care are on a steady track to my desk,” Gov. Jay Inslee said. “Thanks to our pro-choice legislators, WA is and will remain a pro-choice state.”

Pro-abortion legislators are also looking to pass a state constitutional amendment. Senate Joint Resolution 8202 would make abortion a state right “beyond a shadow of a doubt,” as Sen. Cleveland said.

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