The bill, also known as the Reproductive Parity Act, would require all insurance carriers that provide maternal care to also provide coverage for abortions.
“Our challenge is to make sure that every woman in the state of Washington has access to a health care insurance policy that respects and pays for her right of choice,” Inslee told the crowd gathered on the steps of the Capitol. “The way to do that is to pass the Reproductive Parity Act this year.”
Elaine Rose, CEO of Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest, said passing the Reproductive Parity Act is the number one item on the organization’s agenda.
“Family planning funding is also crucial — as the Affordable Care Act goes into effect, there will still be a need for funding during the period of transition,” Rose said.
Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom also spoke at the rally.
“I’ve always been fiscally conservative,” said Tom. “And if you look at family planning, in terms of return on investment, it’s one of the best things we do in state government. It’s not only the right thing to do, it’s the fiscally smart thing to do.”
The bill is expected to get a vote in the Democratic-controlled House. Senate Democrats recently urged the GOP-controlled Senate Majority Coalition to schedule a public hearing on the bill, which has been referred to the Senate’s Law and Justice Committee and Health Care Committee.
TVW has more photos on our Facebook page from the event.