OLYMPIA, Wash. - The Washington Legislature has passed a measure that would require Washington insurers offering maternity care to also cover elective abortions and contraception.
The Senate concurred on changes made in the House to Senate Bill 6219 and passed it on a 27-22 vote Saturday. The measure now heads to Gov. Jay Inslee for his expected signature.
In addition to linking abortion coverage with maternity care, the bill would require health plans issued or renewed after Jan. 1, 2019, to provide copayment- and deductible-free coverage for all contraceptive drugs and devices, as well as voluntary sterilization and any consultations or other necessary procedures.
In January, KIRO 7 News talked to a sponsor of the bill. Click here to read more.
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“Washington has long led the way on this issue, and passing the Reproductive Parity Act (RPA) will be yet another example of that," said state Sen. Steve Hobbs (D-Lake Stevens), who introduced the bill this legislative session in Olympia. "It should pass, and we should move quickly on it because these days it’s really anybody’s guess as to what the Trump administration will or won’t do next.”
Washington state already has laws in places that protects reproductive health rights; voters passed an initiative in 1991 that would keep protections in place for women in the event that Roe v. Wade is overturned. What SB 6219 focuses on is affordability of coverage.
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