Entries by Joseph Backholm

Tuesday Was A Tough Day in Olympia

Tuesday was a difficult day in the legislature.

Early in the evening, the Washington State Senate passed HB 1523, a bill that requires every insurance plan to pay for every form of birth control.

In broad terms, the bill requires that Washington State require every insurance plan to cover everything that was required under federal law as of December 31, 2016.

If it seems like a strange way to write law,

Momentum Building in Legislature for Helpful Amendments

This legislative session has seen a barrage of really harmful legislation be introduced and gain traction in the legislature.

Two bills, (HB 1523, and SB 6219) would force businesses, individuals, and possibly religious organizations to pay for contraception and/or abortion coverage despite religious and moral objections.

Another bill (SB 6037) would legalize surrogacy contracts in Washington State.  Mitsutoku Shigeta, a single man from Japan,

Man Gets Custody of 13 Children He Fathered Through Surrogacy

Tomorrow, the Washington State legislature will hold hearings on Senate Bill 6037 which would, among other things, make surrogacy contracts legal in Washington State.  Surrogacy contracts typically involve a wealthy individual or couple paying a financially disadvantaged woman to carry a child that she will give up at birth.

In a story that offers a foreshadowing of what could be around the corner, a Bangkok court just awarded a Japanese man full custody of thirteen children he fathered through surrogacy in Thailand.

“Political Issues” Don’t Exist and Why That Matters for the Church

If you haven’t said it yourself, you’ve definitely heard someone say it.

We don’t get involved in “political issues”. Churches say this all the time.

For Americans, it’s a polite way of breaking up with a conversation we don’t want to have. “It’s not you, it’s me.”

But there’s one little problem with this argument, there’s no such thing as a “political issue.”

There are economic issues,

This Week in Olympia

While American’s celebrate Valentine’s Day this week, the Washington State legislature will be reaching the halfway point in their legislative session.  February 14th is the date on which bills must pass the House in which they were introduced.  Bills that fail to do so are likely dead.

Starting February 15th, the House and Senate will both begin committee hearings on legislation passed by the opposite chamber.   The 2018 regular session ends March 8th.

Elections Have Consequences: Abortion Mandate, Surrogacy Contracts, and Therapy Ban All Advance in the Legislature

The Washington State legislature continues to prioritize a number of radical social policies in the 2018 legislative session.

Yesterday, the Senate passed SB 6037 legalizing contract surrogacy by a 27-21 vote margin. Several amendments were proposed but not adopted.  One amendment would have limited surrogacy contracts in Washington State to residents of Washington State.  This was an attempt to avoid challenges like those faced in Southeast Asia where the wealthy would fly in from all over the globe to take advantage of the surrogacy industry that developed there.

House Fast-Tracks Bills that Mandate Abortion Insurance and Ban Therapy. This Could Be Why

Two bills have been scheduled for a hearing at 8 a.m. in the House HealthCare and Wellness Committee this Wednesday, February 7th.

Senate Bill 6219 does two different things:

  1. It requires every insurance policy to cover every form of FDA approved contraception, including those that many object to because they cause abortions.
  2. It requires every insurance policy that covers the birth of a baby to also pay someone to kill it.

Commercial Surrogacy Bill Passes Senate Committee

Many people have never heard of Senate Bill 6037 nor do they know what commercial surrogacy is, but this issue has become one of the most hotly debated bills so in Olympia this year.

While the bill is an overhaul of the States Uniform Parentage Act generally,  as we wrote about previously, the most contentious part is the provision that would remove the state’s current prohibition on commercial surrogacy contracts. 

How Planned Parenthood Turns Birth Control into Cash (and why Politicians Help).

The Washington State legislature likes birth control – a lot.

Currently, there are three separate bills in one way or another making it easier to get birth control and ensuring that no one taking the birth control will actually have to pay for it.  (SB 6102, SB 6105, SB 6219). All of them work to make sure that women won’t ever have to pay for their birth control or abortion.

Finding the Left Difficult to Talk To? This Might Be Why

Emerald City Metropolitan Community Church bills itself as “the original church for LGBTG+ people & allies in the Pacific Northwest.”  On their Facebook page yesterday, they posted something called “A Manifesto! The Time Has Come!” by Bishop John Shelby Spong who is a retired Bishop of the Episcopal Church.

It appears that it was written in 2009, but over the last decade, this sentiment has become increasingly pervasive among progressives generally, including those who identify as Christian.