Friday, February 22, 2013

House approves Reproductive Parity Act

“We moved this legislation forward to continue Washington state’s proud history of staying out of people’s personal lives.” –Rep. Dean Takko on the passage of the Reproductive Parity Act
War on women? Not here in Washington.
While state legislatures across the country are turning back the clock on women’s health, House Democrats are moving Washington state forward as a leader in reproductive freedom.
Today, 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 requiring additional administrative red-tape for abortion services.
This change would interfere with a woman’s ability to make the best decisions for her family and her health.
Enter the Reproductive Parity Act—which would require insurance companies to continue their current policy of covering a full range of reproductive choices. Introduced by House Health Care and Wellness Chair Eileen Cody, the bill ensures fairness and protects freedom in a woman’s health care decisions.
This morning a diverse group of lawmakers from across the state spoke in favor of the measure on the House floor.
Rep. Steve Tharinger spoke of growing up in a home with five sisters.
"These are independent, intelligent women," said Rep. Tharinger. "They do not want some bureaucrat in an insurance company, some politician, or even their brother telling them what to do with their health care."
Washington has long led the nation on this important issue. Two years before the U.S. Supreme Court made their landmark decision in Roe v. Wade, Washingtonians approved Referendum 20. R-20 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.
When given the opportunity to weigh-in, the voters of this state have always came down on the side of reproductive choice and privacy. By advancing the Reproductive Parity Act, House Democrats are working to ensure that the law in our state reflects this fact.

Read this story in Spanish.