Letter: Protect access to health care

Published:

 

Not all women are ready to have children. As a pro-choice woman, I believe the decision to end a pregnancy should be left up to a woman, her family and her faith — not the government.

That’s why it is critical as Washington state moves forward with health care reform that we protect women’s access to comprehensive health care services. Our state Senate needs to pass the Reproductive Parity Act. HB 2330/SB 6185 were introduced to ensure the federal government’s intrusion on women’s health does not roll back reproductive health access.

Our state’s existing law guarantees that anybody who receives public funding to help pay for their insurance will also get their insurance coverage for abortion subsidized by the state, but it does not guarantee that abortion coverage will be available to purchase in the first place. If we don’t pass legislation this year to fix that problem, our state’s commitment to pro-choice values will be threatened because of decisions made at the federal level.

The bill is simple: if health insurance plans in Washington cover two pregnancy options -- maternity care and miscarriage -- it should also cover the remaining pregnancy option, abortion care. Considering women pay 60 percent more than men in health care costs, this keeps insurance fair and equitable.

Elizabeth Whitney

Vancouver