KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Wash. Bill To Mandate Abortion Coverage Awaits State Senate Vote

Washington's Reproductive Parity Act would be the first state law to require insurance plans to cover abortion.

The Wall Street Journal: State Weighs Mandate On Abortion Insurance
Washington state may be on the verge of passing the nation's first mandatory abortion-insurance law, which would require all insurers to reimburse women for abortion procedures as part of their maternity-care coverage. Legislation known as the Reproductive Parity Act has passed in the state House of Representatives but still must clear the Senate (Millman, 3/24).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Wash., An Abortion Rights Trailblazer, Weighs Passing Nation's 1st Abortion Insurance Mandate
With 21 states having adopted bans or severe restrictions on insurance companies from paying for abortions, Washington is alone in seriously considering legislation mandating the opposite (3/23).

Meanwhile in North Dakota and Texas:

Reuters: North Dakota Lawmakers Approve Measure That Could Ban Abortion
North Dakota lawmakers on Friday approved a proposed amendment to the state constitution that could make the state the first to define life as beginning at conception, which would effectively outlaw all abortions. If approved by voters, North Dakota would be the first state in the United States with such a provision in its constitution. Similar measures have been put before voters in several states, including Mississippi, and rejected (Thompson, 3/22).

The Texas Tribune: Bill Could Reduce Number Of Texas Abortion Facilities
A bill advancing through the Texas Legislature could drastically decrease the number of legal abortion facilities in the state. Supporters of Senate Bill 537, which would increase regulations for abortion facilities, say it will improve women’s safety (Aaronson, 3/25).

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