Washington State’s New Law Forces Health Care Providers To Cover Abortion

The Washington state legislature passed the so-called “Reproductive Parity Act” with a Senate vote of 27-22 Saturday. The bill would require the state’s insurers who cover maternity care to also cover elective abortions and contraception. The measure has no religious or moral exemptions and is headed to Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee’s desk where he is expected to sign it into law.

The bill also requires health plans issued or renewed after Jan. 1, 2019, to provide free coverage for all contraceptive drugs, devices, and voluntary sterilizations.

“No woman should have to seek or pay for an additional rider or copay or have any other means of delay or financial burden for this coverage,” state Sen. Steve Hobbs, the bill’s sponsor, told the Associated Press in January.

However, the bill met with objections from Hobbs’s Republican colleagues and some who argue that the legislation would attack the conscience rights of those who object to abortion.

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