" 'Transparency is great, but our concern has to do with access. Itís a step in the right direction, but we donít think it addresses the multifaceted nature of the problem,' said Megan Burbank, communications director of NARAL Pro-Choice Washington."
"And, more good news. Lawmakers in Washington have advanced the Reproductive Parity Act. If signed into law, it would make the state the first in the nation to mandate that insurers who cover maternity care also cover abortion. If only we could get Congress to repeal the Hyde Amendment and pass those kinds of protections nationwide, reproductive health-care parity could be a reality for all Americans."
" 'For everything the Affordable Care Act has to offer ó covering young people up until the age of 26, covering contraception without a co-pay, and creating affordable coverage options ó it does not guarantee women full access to all reproductive services, specifically abortion care,' said Kreidler. 'The Reproductive Parity Act is a common sense bill that ensures that a woman, not her boss, her insurance plan or her legislator, can make her own medical decisions.' "
"Earlier in the week, the Seattle Times reported that more than 250 reproductive rights activists rallied at the capitol calling for passage of the bill. Hobbs, the sponsor of the senate bill, told the crowd, 'Itís a choice, not just for the women in Washington state. Itís a choice [for lawmakers] to do the right thing.' "
"Rachel Berkson, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, said she was grateful to allies in the House for supporting the Reproductive Parity Act, and: 'Weíve heard from the Office of the Insurance Commissioner that at least two plans through the state exchange donít cover elective abortion, and thereís confusion surrounding more. This is what happens without the RPA in place to protect access to care. We appreciate that our representatives in the House stand with women, and we urge the Senate to show that they do too.' "
"The Reproductive Parity Act ensures that women and families have their full range of healthcare choices covered by their insurance. It passed the House by a wide margin last year, and should pass with similar support this year. While a closer vote in the Senate, there are the votes to pass this critical bill and it deserves to be considered by the full Senate."
From Sen. Sharon Nelson's legislative wish list: "Washingtonians have made it very clear that these [including the Reproductive Parity Act] are priorities, and yet Senate Majority Leader Tom and his Republican colleagues have refused to allow these crucial pieces of legislation to even receive a vote."
Crosscut | Rep. J.T. Wilcox, Rep. Judy Clibborn, Sen. Sharon Nelson, Sen. Curtis King, & Rep. Reuven Carlyle
"Health reform has re-opened the fight over insurance coverage for abortion, giving states an opportunity to attack abortion access ó and the Reproductive Parity Act would prevent similar attacks in Washington."