OLYMPIA, Wash. - The Washington state House passed a bill Friday requiring most insurance carries in the state to cover abortions.
The bill is intended to ensure that insurers continue covering abortions once bureaucratic hurdles for doing so come into effect next year with the federal health care reforms. House lawmakers passed the measure by a vote of 53-43.
Opponents argue that abortion coverage is already widespread and the bill is unnecessary. They also say 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.