I realize this is a few days old now, but Rob McKenna, backed into a corner with his not an answer answer, on the Reproductive Parity Act, finally decided he has an opinion on it after all. Fortunately pro-choice groups see right through it.
McKenna falsely claimed today that the Reproductive Parity Act will “put federal funding of women’s health care at risk” by addressing the Weldon Amendment. However, if he read the current legislation he would see that the Weldon Amendment was raised during the legislative session and is fully addressed in the bill as it stands. Under the Weldon Amendment, states may not “discriminate” against providers who do not offer abortion services.
The Reproductive Parity Act has been drafted specifically to protect insurance carriers in the state of Washington against discrimination and will keep our state compliant with the federal requirements of the Weldon Amendment. Every carrier currently selling in Washington covers abortion, and they have no objection to the RPA. Washington has an existing conscience clause for new providers wishing to be admitted into the state that do not want to include abortion in any of their health plans.
In fact, pro-choice leaders Jay Inslee, then a Congressman in the 1st, and Congressmen Jim McDermott (D-7) and Adam Smith (D-9) already sent this letter that you can download here to President Obama addressing the Weldon Amendment and supporting access to women’s health care coverage and the Reproductive Parity Act (HB 2330).
While so much of the nation is going backwards (h/t to Geov) on these issues, it’s good that Washington has the chance to go in the right direction.