Washington governor signs law requiring coverage of abortion when insurers offer maternity care
Washington governor signs law requiring coverage of abortion when insurers offer maternity care

[JURIST] Washington Governor Jay Inslee [official website] signed a bill known as the Reproductive Parity Act (RPA) [materials] into law on Wednesday, which will require insurers in the state of Washington to provide coverage for elective abortions and contraception if they also provide coverage for maternity care.

Additionally, the RPA will also require health insurance plans issued or renewed after January 1, 2019, to provide deductible-free coverage for all contraceptive drugs and devices.

The RAP, which has been under consideration for over six years, also nullifies new regulations promulgated by the Trump administration that would have allowed insurance companies to deny coverage for contraception on religious and moral grounds [NYT report]. Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson [official website] had previously challenged these regulations in a lawsuit filed [JURIST report] in the US District Court for the Western District of Washington [official website].

Planned Parenthood [advocacy website] was a vocal proponent of the bill and is now seeking to introduce similar bills that would expand access to abortion and other reproductive services in all 50 states.