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Measure to require abortion coverage in all plans moves on

February 20, 2012

A bill passed in committee on Monday would require all health insurance policies sold in Washington to include abortion coverage.

The Washington State Senate’s Health and Long-Term Care Committee approved a bill along party lines on Monday that would force insurance companies providing maternity benefits to provide abortion benefits.

Every insurance carrier currently doing business in Washington already offers plans that offer abortion to customers, but some also offer individual plans that do not — presumably to appease employers with personal or religious objections to abortion.

Senate Bill 2330 would eliminate that option.

“This is a very bad idea,” said Sen. Mike Carrell (R-Lakewood). “Instead of looking at this as an abortion issue, let’s look at it in terms of some other right, for example your Second Amendment rights.

“Just because you have a right to keep and bear arms, that doesn’t mean someone else should be forced to pay for you to exercise it,” he said. “If it were anything but abortion, we wouldn’t be having this discussion because it would sound ridiculous.”

“It violates the Constitution,” agreed Sen. Randi Becker (R-Eatonville). “Also, in Washington state we already have provisions that make this bill unnecessary.”

“It’s a simple statement of equity,” countered Sen. Karen Keiser (D-Auburn).

The bill passed by voice vote and now moves to the House floor.

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