Washington State Dem lawmakers seek to mandate abortion coverage in student health care plans

A new bill in the Washington State legislature mandate that student health care plans cover abortions if they include maternity care.

Pro-life groups told Campus Reform that abortion is not “real healthcare," and condemned the move.

A new Washington State House Bill would give Washington State college students with student healthcare plans access to abortions.

House Bill 1009 sponsored by 18 Democrats, held their first hearing on January 13 to discuss mandating that student healthcare plans provide abortion coverage.

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The legislation states, in part, that “if a health plan issued or renewed on or after January 1, 2019, provides coverage for maternity care or services, the health plan must also provide a covered person with substantially equivalent coverage to permit the abortion of a pregnancy.” 

If approved, the bill would require healthcare plans initiated after January 2022 to provide abortion access for full-time undergraduate and graduate students.

In 2018, state lawmakers passed the Reproductive Parity Act, which required state-sponsored health care plans to provide abortion coverage if they include maternity care, excepted student health insurance plans from the requirement, according to the Daily UW student newspaper.

Washington State Democratic Representative and bill sponsor My-Linh Thai commented to The Daily UW that the original piece of 2018 legislation should have included abortions. She insisted that there should not be an argument over it, but instead fixed. 

National Right to Life Director of Communications Laura Echevarria told Campus Reform that her organization opposes “anyone or any entity being forced to include abortion coverage or being forced to pay for it.” 

“Further, if the plan is at all subsidized, the taxpayers are paying for it— which we also oppose,” she added. 

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Students for Life of America Spokesperson Kristi Hamrick told Campus Reform“ that “real healthcare protects, cares for, supports and nurtures life.” 

”Let’s be clear,” she added, “pregnancy is not a disease ‘cured’ by an abortion.” 

“Adding life-ending drugs and surgeries pollutes medical care and forces healthcare providers and insurance plans to market deadly abortions. People’s conscience rights will be violated as they are forced into business with abortionists, paying to end lives no matter their viewpoint on the human rights issue of our day,” Hamrick said.” This is a sign that a predatory abortion industry has moved from ‘choice’ to coercion, using the threat of law to force their agenda into daily life.”

Hamrick added that transforming state-funded institutions into “abortion vendors doesn’t serve their mission to equip the next generation with the skills they need to prosper.” 

”Ending the lives of future students is not the purpose of our schools and plays into a misogynist, anti-woman mindset that says women can’t succeed in relationships, at school and at work so we should sever the relationship between mother and child,” she said. 

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