Washington State considers forcing insurance companies to pay for abortions
The next logical step in the demise of individual moral and religious conscience is under consideration in Washington State, where legislators are thinking of passing a first-in-the-nation requirement to force health insurance companies to pay for abortion. From the Washington Times:
“This is a core value for Washingtonians,” said Melanie Smith, a lobbyist with NARAL Pro-Choice in Washington, as quoted by The Associated Press. “We should protect it while we still have it and not leave access to basic health care up to an insurance company.”
Lawmakers in the House passed The Reproductive Parity Act with a 53-43 vote earlier this month. The Senate, however, may not view it so favorably, Christian News reports. The governor is on board. Christian News quotes Gov. Jay Inslee: “We are going to insist that we are not going to let anybody close the door to democracy in this state.”
The bill specifically states that any insurance company that offers maternity coverage must also cover abortions. It’s due for Senate discussion in April. And religious-affiliated groups especially are hoping for its speedy dismissal.
“To mandate that we violate our conscience is tyranny,” said Dan Kennedy, CEO of Human Life of Washington, in the Christian News report. “There’s no subtle or soft way to put the truth.”
I see we’re back to the Sandra Fluke formula for unlimited government power, in which forcing other people to pay for something equals “access.” If insurance companies aren’t compelled to pay for abortions, then “access” to such “basic health care” will be “denied.”
Smith’s remark about “protecting it while we still have it” seems confusing at first – is she trying to work people up into thinking abortion could be banned at any moment in Washington State? The Associated Press provides some context:
The proximate cause of Washington state’s measure is the federal Affordable Care Act. Thanks to language placed in it to assuage anti-abortion congressional Democrats, insurers selling their plans on the state exchanges taking effect next year will have to segregate the premiums they collect for abortion coverage.
In addition to that built-in disincentive to insuring abortion, the law also invites states to enact stricter rules of their own. Thus far, 16 states have followed suit, barring or restricting insurance companies on their exchanges from covering the procedure. Three of those states are joining the five that have barred or limited all insurers from covering abortions since the early 1980’s.
Inslee describing resistance to this initiative as “closing the door to democracy” is an unwitting validation of the Founders’ deep mistrust of pure “democracy,” i.e. mob rule. One of the fatal flaws of unrestrained “democracy” is that a working political majority can force the minority to violate its conscience.
Just about everyone weighing in on the Reproductive Parity Act has a different take on what its practical effects would be. Some supporters describe it as a virtually symbolic tug of the forelock to abortion rights(which are apparently the only truly inalienable rights left to Americans.) Others speak of it as a game-changing historic event. There’s a bit of Washington State political intrigue on the table as well, since the state Senate came under Republican control thanks to a couple of Democrat defections, and Senate Republicans might now be able to keep the proposed law from reaching a full vote.
Wasn’t this the sort of pickle those fabled “pro-life Democrats” promised we’d never be in, back when they voted for ObamaCare?