March 6, 2012 — A Washington bill (HB 2330) that would require health plans that cover maternity care to also cover abortion care appears defeated for this session, after it failed to advance to the Senate floor ahead of a Friday deadline, the AP/Seattle Times reports. The bill could be taken up in a special session.
The bill had cleared the full House, and Democrats expected to have the necessary Senate votes for passage. However, on Friday, two attempts to bring it to the floor were voted down after a contentious budget discussion. Three Democrats who sided with Republicans in the budget debate also joined them in voting against efforts to bring the abortion coverage bill to the floor.
Supporters of the bill say it would have ensured continued access to abortion coverage after the state establishes its health insurance exchange as part of the federal health reform law (PL 111-148) (Kaminsky, AP/Seattle Times, 3/2).
Repro Health Watch — an exciting new edition of the Women’s Health Policy Report — compiles and distributes media coverage of proposed and enacted state laws and ballot initiatives affecting women's access to comprehensive reproductive health care, as well as litigation in response to those provisions.