State legislators Wednesday held a public hearing on a proposed law that would require most health insurers offering maternity care also cover elective abortions.
OLYMPIA — State lawmakers considered proposed legislation Thursday that would require most health insurers offering maternity care to also cover elective abortions.
In a public hearing, the state House’s Health Care and Wellness Committee heard arguments from both sides of the abortion debate.
Supporters said the bill would preserve current abortion coverage once federal health-insurance rules come into effect under the Affordable Care Act in 2014.
“This is to make sure that Washington women don’t wake up in 2014 and discover what they had on Dec. 31, 2013, is gone,” said Elaine Rose, chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest.
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Opponents, badly outnumbered on a day when bad road conditions prevented many from making the trip to the Capitol, said the bill would force insurers and business owners to offer abortion coverage even if they oppose it on moral grounds.
“Abortion is an elective procedure,” said John Geis, director of governmental affairs for the Family Policy Institute of Washington. “It’s not necessary for health care, to make a person well or whole.”