Abortion bill clears House committee

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- State lawmakers are moving ahead with a bill that would require most health insurers offering maternity care to also cover elective abortions.

The bill, known as the Reproductive Parity Act, passed out of the House Health Care and Wellness Committee Thursday by a 7-3 vote.

The bill could come up for a floor vote in the coming weeks.

The proposed legislation would make Washington the first state to link requiring abortion coverage to maternity care, according to the abortion rights group NARAL Pro-Choice Washington.

Opponents said the bill would force insurers and business owners to offer abortion coverage even if they oppose it on moral grounds.