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Washington State Abortion Laws: Quotes From Heated Debate

By    |   Monday, 10 Aug 2015 01:09 AM

Washington state's abortion laws are liberal, earning the state an A-plus grade from abortion rights activist group NARAL Pro-Choice America.

The state was ahead of the curve nationally, voting in 1970 to legalize abortion — three years before Roe v. Wade made abortion legal throughout the country.

In March 2015, the house passed a bill that would force insurance companies that offered women maternity care to also cover abortions, The Associated Press reported. The state senate, however, let a companion bill to the "Reproductive Parity Act" die because hearings on the measure did not occur before a specific deadline.

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The move by Washington state lawmakers was much-watched as many states have instituted bans on abortion covered in insurance plans that fall under their state exchanges — a part of the Affordable Care Act. If passed, it would have made Washington state the first in the nation to force insurance carriers to cover abortions.

Here are some quotes about the proposal, which has been attempted several times in recent years.

"Unfortunately for most life-affirming businesses, access to pro-life insurance policies simply doesn’t exist. Instead of creating more market options for these business owners and pro-life employees, this law attempts to remove choice when it comes to life-affirming health care policies. My family would be forced to pay for the very means that would have taken my brother’s life."
— Electric Mirrors CEO Jim Mischel, Lozier Institute, speaking against the plan in a February hearing. Mischel noted that his adopted brother was the result of a pregnancy carried to term by a teen who had been raped. The girl, he said, had pondered an abortion but changed her mind.

“This is also a bullying bill. We cannot insist on one agenda oppressing another.”
Angela Connelly, president of the Washington Women's Network, The New York Times

“Nothing is more personal or private than a woman’s freedom to make her own health care decisions. The voters have told us that personal privacy and reproductive freedom are Washington values, and these values are at risk unless we take action in Olympia.”
Rep. Eileen Cody, D-West Seattle, chair of the Health Care and Wellness Committee, during a 2013 committee hearing

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“Private medical decisions should be made between a woman and her doctor, not dictated by the religious beliefs of politicians or corporate bosses. That freedom to choose is under attack, here in Washington and around the nation, and women could lose it unless they stand up and speak out.”
Rep. Laurie Jinkins, D-Tacoma, vice chair of the Health Care and Wellness Committee, during a 2013 committee hearing

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Washington state's abortion laws are liberal, earning the state an A-plus grade from abortion rights activist group NARAL Pro-Choice America.
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2015-09-10
Monday, 10 Aug 2015 01:09 AM
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