Regional Public Journalism
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Debate Over Abortion Coverage Bill Fills Every Seat

Alexandra Kocik
Northwest News Network

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The prospect of a tense debate over abortion rights filled every seat of a hearing room in Olympia Thursday. Activists on both sides were there to debate a bill to require insurance companies that cover maternity services to also pay for abortions.

Elaine Rose heads Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest. She said women who want abortion coverage are not guaranteed that insurance will pay.

“We want to make sure their access allows them to make the decision that is best for them and they don’t want their insurance carrier or government or, excuse me, any of you to make that decision for them.”

Twenty-year-old Rachel Georgeson said the measure would infringe upon her personal beliefs.

“I don’t want to feel like my options are narrowed because of my convictions, and because I’m opposed to an insurance plan that covers abortions.”

Under the federal healthcare overhaul, Washington will have to designate at least one insurer that does not pay for the procedure, if this bill passes. This measure is an early priority for Washington’s new Gov. Jay Inslee.