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Abortion insurance bill passes state House

by caprecord

For the fourth session in as many years, state House Democrats once again passed a bill that would require Washington insurance providers to cover abortions and contraceptives.

The so-called Reproductive Parity Act passed in the state House, this time with a vote of 51-46.

House Bill 1647 would require health plan carriers to cover abortions if they cover maternity care and to cover contraceptives without cost-sharing.

Rep. Eileen Cody, West Seattle Democrat and prime sponsor, says women should be able to make parenting choices without input from their employers or insurance providers.

“You don’t get to decide for me and I don’t get to decide for you,” she said.

But some Republicans say the requirement would force people to go against their own values, by forcing them to pay for an insurance plan that covers abortions.

“This is an affront to the very foundation of constitutional protections that guarantee the right to exercise our religious conscience,” Rep. Norma Smith, R-Clinton, said.

While a version of the bill has narrowly passed the state House every year, it has never made it to the Senate floor. A bill passed out of a Senate committee in 2012, when Democrats controlled the chamber.