OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The Washington state House has passed a measure requiring most insurance carriers in the state to cover abortions.
The bill approved Friday is intended to ensure that insurers continue covering abortions once bureaucratic hurdles for doing so come into effect next year with the enactment of federal health care reforms. Lawmakers in the House passed the measure by a vote of 53-43.
Opponents contend that abortion coverage is already widespread and the bill is unnecessary. They also argue that it could risk federal health care funds by violating federal law and that it infringes on religious liberties.
Supporters point out language in the bill making any portion of it inconsistent with federal law moot and exempting insurance carriers objecting to abortion on moral grounds from covering it.
The measure goes next to the Senate.