The State Senate is considering a bill which would make abortion coverage mandatory for all insurance providers, with a caveat, and the new bill, H.B. 2330, would give Washington State first-in-the-nation status for requiring abortion coverage when universal healthcare kicks in two years from now. But about that caveat...
Opponents to the bill say that, among other things, insurance providers can't be forced to cover abortion if they claim a conscience-based exemption, a rule the Federal government backwardly supports by threatening to withhold healthcare funding otherwise, in this case a significant $6 billion. Supporters say Washington already has protections in place for these exemptions. However, a self-destruct clause was added just in case and which supporters say would nullify the bill if those protections don't work for the Fed.
National focus on the debate over abortion coverage is white hot as this bill comes on the heels of Susan G. Komen Foundation's attempted defunding of Planned Parenthood earlier this month and their subsequent hasty retreat after the plan became a public relations nightmare. Pro-choice supporters flooded Planned Parenthood with $650 thousand in a 24-hour span and Komen's vice-president of public policy resigned. Then just last week the Virginia Senate stopped a 'personhood' bill which would have made abortion illegal by granting embryos individual rights.
Other parts of the country are seeing setbacks against abortion as 27 states are considering or have already restricted insurers from offering abortion coverage. Washington is all alone with New York in considering the unbeaten path of mandatory coverage.