If you really want to do something about Hobby Lobby, work to defeat candidates for the Washington State legislature who use Hobby Lobby logic. NARAL Pro-Choice Washington Executive Director Rachel Berkson & former Seattle City Councilmember Judy Nicastro weigh in on how to fight back.
Megan Burbank, a spokesperson at NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, told RH Reality Check that NARAL and other coalition members are currently reviewing the policies. She said the coalition has compiled a checklist of information about what services are offered that should be included in hospital policy disclosures. “Right now what we’re doing is using our checklist in comparison to the policies that have been released to see what measures up,” she said. “If our checklist had been used initially as an organizing principle to make sure that the policies addressed each point, we wouldn’t have this confusion.”
Rachel Berkson, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, previously told RH Reality Check that the push for disclosure requirements are motivated by concerns about the ethical religious directives of religiously affiliated hospitals. “These directives are set by Catholic Bishops,” said Berkson. “These policies prevent access to contraception, reproductive health care, end-of-life care, and there are issues surrounding the treatment of LGBT families.”
" 'Transparency is great, but our concern has to do with access. It’s a step in the right direction, but we don’t 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 — covering young people up until the age of 26, covering contraception without a co-pay, and creating affordable coverage options — 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, 'It’s a choice, not just for the women in Washington state. It’s 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: 'We’ve heard from the Office of the Insurance Commissioner that at least two plans through the state exchange don’t cover elective abortion, and there’s 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 — and the Reproductive Parity Act would prevent similar attacks in Washington."