Editorial Urges Wash. Senate To Hold Hearing on Reproductive Rights Act

March 4, 2013 — Washington senators should heed the will of voters who support abortion rights by holding a hearing on the Reproductive Parity Act (HB 1044), a Seattle Times editorial writes.

The bill, which recently passed the House, would ensure that a woman seeking an abortion "receive[s] the same insurance coverage for the procedure that she would get for maternal care." Although "[t]his is the current standard offered by insurance policies statewide," the measure seeks to "protect that coverage as much as possible after federal health reforms take effect," the editorial adds.

According to the editorial, "Polls show female voters overwhelmingly support reproductive rights." Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood estimates that lawmakers have received 56,000 emails, letters and calls in support of the bill.

The editorial notes that after "weeks of withholding a hearing," the Senate now plans to let the public weigh in on the matter before the April 3 deadline. "State senators should listen to [the] chorus" and "[a]ct soon," the editorial concludes (Seattle Times, 2/28).