Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Reproductive Parity Act gets public hearing tomorrow morning

Rep. Eileen Cody
While state legislatures across the country are turning back the clock on women’s health, Washington state and House Democrats are continuing to move forward as a leader in reproductive freedom.

Washington voters have a long history of supporting reproductive rights that stretches back over forty years. In fact, two years before the U.S. Supreme Court made their landmark decision in Roe v. Wade, Washingtonians approved Referendum 20, which legalized abortion in the early stages of pregnancy.

Then again in 1991, when it looked like Roe could be overturned, voters approved Initiative 120. I-120 protected a women’s right to make a private choice with her doctor in this state- no matter what occurred at the federal level.

Over twenty years later, nearly every single insurance plan in Washington covers both maternity services and abortion services. However, the Affordable Care Act could inadvertently limit these reproductive choices by denying coverage for terminating a pregnancy.

This change would interfere with a woman’s ability to make the best decisions for her family and her health.

Understanding that this could be an unintended consequence of the Affordable Care Act, Rep. Eileen Cody (D-West Seattle) has introduced the Reproductive Parity Act for the second year in a row. The House version of the bill has over 40 co-sponsors.

The Reproductive Parity Act would protect a woman’s right to make their own health care decisions by requiring insurance plans to offer full coverage for repoductive health, as they do under current law.

Curious about the legislation? Interested in the conversation? The House Health Care and Wellness Committee is holding a public hearing on the Reproductive Parity Act tomorrow at 8:00 AM.
As always, TVW will be covering all the action from the hearing. You can also follow us on Twitter for live updates.

Read this story in Spanish