Washington State to Require Abortion Coverage With Insurance

Kevin Glass

3/24/2013 7:53:00 AM - Kevin Glass
All residents of Washington State may soon be forced to subsidize abortion coverage for their fellow residents if a NARAL-backed piece of legislation passes the state legislature. The "Reproductive Parity Act" would force all insurance companies that offer maternity care - which is legally required in Washington - to also provide abortions.

At present, all major insurers in Washington state cover abortions, and Cody, the bill's sponsor, said she knows of no carrier with plans to change. Insurers new to Washington state on its exchange may be tempted to adopt different policies, she said.

The proximate cause of Washington state's measure is the federal Affordable Care Act [Obamacare]. Thanks to language in it pushed by congressional Republicans, insurers selling their plans on the state exchanges taking effect next year will have to segregate the premiums they collect for abortion coverage.

This is currently a state-by-state problem, as every state must provide minimum requirements for what constituted "insurance." But as the contraception controversy proved last year, the federal takeover of insurance has made this situation a lot stickier. Now both the federal government and each state have their own conceptions and definitions of the minimum requirements for insurance. Washington State, if this bill passes, will have determined that abortion coverage is mandatory for every single insured person in the state. Insurance works on a pooling basis, obviously, so that means that individuals who are morally opposed to abortion are being forced by the government to subsidize abortions for those who choose to have them.

Issues like these will become more and more prevalent when all Americans are forced by the federal government to purchase insurance. But that's the world we're now living in under Obamacare.