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Washington State weighs first abortion insurance mandate in US

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - With 21 states now banning or severely restricting insurance companies from paying for abortions, Washington state is alone in seriously considering legislation mandating the opposite.

The Reproductive Parity Act, as supporters call it, would require insurers in Washington state who cover maternity care - which all insurers must do - to also pay for abortions.

The bill passed the state House earlier this month by a vote of 53-43, though it faces an uncertain future in the Senate.

The proximate cause of Washington state's measure is the federal Affordable Care Act. Under language pushed by congressional Republicans, insurers selling their plans on the state exchanges taking effect next year will have to segregate the premiums they collect for abortion coverage.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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