- The Washington Times - Monday, March 25, 2013

Washington state legislators are debating a law that would require insurance companies to pay for abortions.

If passed, Washington would become the first state in the nation to mandate insurers cover the procedure, Christian News reports.

“This is a core value for Washingtonians,” said Melanie Smith, a lobbyist with NARAL Pro-Choice in Washington, as quoted by The Associated Press. “We should protect it while we still have it and not leave access to basic health care up to an insurance company.”

Lawmakers in the House passed The Reproductive Parity Act with a 53-43 vote earlier this month. The Senate, however, may not view it so favorably, Christian News reports. The governor is on board. Christian News quotes Gov. Jay Inslee: “We are going to insist that we are not going to let anybody close the door to democracy in this state.”

The bill specifically states that any insurance company that offers maternity coverage must also cover abortions. It’s due for Senate discussion in April. And religious-affiliated groups especially are hoping for its speedy dismissal.

“To mandate that we violate our conscience is tyranny,” said Dan Kennedy, CEO of Human Life of Washington, in the Christian News report. “There’s no subtle or soft way to put the truth.”