Will Washington State Have More Luck Passing the Reproductive Parity Act This Year?

Washington state is debating a bill that would expand insurance coverage for abortion, a move that would greatly help low-income individuals who may not have the necessary funds to end an unwanted pregnancy. The state’s Reproductive Parity Act would require any insurance plan that covers maternity care to also cover abortion. “This is a core value for Washingtonians,” NARAL Pro-Choice Washington lobbyist Melanie Smith told 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.”

The bill has passed the state house and has headed to the senate, which is where a similar bill stalled in 2012; senate Republicans killed it in committee by attaching it to a budget battle, blocking it before it could get a full vote. If it had made it to the floor, it was expected to have enough votes to pass.

The bill could be just as difficult to pass this year. Despite winning a majority in the state senate, two Democrats defected and joined Republicans to create a new majority, with membership on committees evenly split between the parties. Although one senator’s illness is leaving the body in flux and the conservative majority unstable, it is unclear if that change will help or hinder the passage of the bill.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/heather.crider Heather White Crider

    The RPA would keep abortion care included in insurance plans available in Washington State- which is exactly how it presently stands (although two federal plans would be available in the coming insurance exchange for those who prefer not to have it in their insurance plan.) This is a separate issue from the state Medicaid funds that can cover abortion care for low-income residents. I do not understand how you are drawing the conclusion that the RPA “would greatly help low-income individuals who may not have the necessary funds to end an unwanted pregnancy.” Please broaden your explanation of this. And believe me, I do want the RPA to pass; I’m a Washington resident that has lobbied for this act for years. I don’t want administrative hurdles like handling separate premiums for abortion care to get in the way of keeping safe provision of health care available. End of rant.

  • deke4

    The people who oppose a girl, woman, female the right to decide whether she will carry the baby to full term are just providing more votes for candidates who side with them. Unfortunately there are several nuances to this conundrum: Impregnated daughters of the wealthy could be sent to countries that allow abortions. The poor, not having the luxury of this wherewithal, will vote for candidates that are pro choice and bring up their children to think the same. So much for antiabortionists garnering the young vote.
    On another matter, if a pregnant Washington State girl, woman goes to a foreign country to have an abortion, would she stiil be breaking Washington law and subject to the same penalties as a girl who has an abortion either a back alley one, or for those that have the money, have the pregnancy aborted here under an operation heading of “she had female problems”?