A blizzard of extremist social policy from the Washington State legislature seems to have ended Wednesday evening as the Washington State House of Representatives passed SB 6219 mandating that every insurance policy in Washington State cover abortions and all contraceptive methods.
It also makes it illegal to share the costs of the abortion with the insured through any form of copay or deductible.
The bill, which is strongly opposed by private businesses, religious organizations, and people who generally oppose coercion by government passed 50-48 with all the Democrats voting for it and all the Republicans voting against it.
The effort to exempt conscience rights was even closer.
A vote on an amendment that would have exempted religious employers and religious organizations ended in a 49-49 tie when Democratic Representative Mike Chapman sided with the Republicans to support it. However, an amendment that ties fails to achieve a majority and therefore fails.
While the bill had been defeated three times in previous years, the passage of this bill following the Democrats retaking the majority in the Washington State Senate is yet another reminder that elections have real consequences in the lives of real people; particularly in the church these days.
While proponents of the bill frequently spoke about the importance of providing access to abortion, this bill was never about the availability of abortion but whether people with moral or conscientious objections to abortions should be forced to use their own money to pay for someone else’s abortions.
The Washington State legislature now says yes.
There were some changes made to the bill that are unrelated to conscience rights so the legislation will return to the Senate who would have to agree to the changes in a reconciliation process before it goes to the Governor for his signature.
You are encouraged to continue contacting your legislators through the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000 or email them by clicking here to share your thoughts on these bills and how they have voted.
In the meantime, families who do not want to pay for abortions through their insurance plans may want to consider one of several Christian cost-sharing ministries.
They are not insurance plans, but they function similarly by allowing Christians to share the costs of medical needs as a community. My family has greatly benefited from being members of Samaritan Ministries for many years, but there are other good options as well like Medi-Share. In addition to lacking the moral problems of being forced to pay for abortions, those options are often much cheaper as well.
While those alternatives could be helpful for individual families, they may not prove useful for employers who are required by law to purchase health insurance policies for their employees. That is why, if Governor Inslee ultimately signs this bill, litigation is sure to result and will likely take years to resolve.