WA House OKs bill tying abortion to maternity care

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- The Washington state House has passed a bill requiring health insurers covering maternity care to also cover abortions.

Supporters said Monday that the bill would ensure that existing abortion coverage will be preserved once federal health insurance rules come into effect under the Affordable Care Act in 2014.

Opponents said the measure would lead to more abortions and would prove expensive.

Starting in 2014, most individual and small group health care plans will under federal law be required to cover a set of medical conditions, among them pregnancy.

Exempted under the bill are multi-state plans, which are not subject to state law, and religiously sponsored plans.

HB 2330 passed by a 52-46 vote and goes next to the Senate.