Abortion bill needs to pass

Exactly one month and 40 years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Roe vs. Wade that a woman has the constitutional right to make her own medical decisions. But three years before that historic decision, citizens in this state had already voted to legalize abortion.

The 2013 Legislature must now pass Senate Bill 5009 – the Reproductive Parity Act – reaffirming the will of Washingtonians.

The bill would require insurance companies to provide coverage for abortions after Obamacare goes into effect next January. It’s necessary because, in order to pass the Affordable Care Act, compromises on abortion rules were made that could deny women in this state access to a safe and legal procedure.

Washington citizens reaffirmed its commitment to women’s right to choose by passing Initiative 120 in 1991, which protected women’s rights in our state, regardless of changes to the federal law.

Nearly two-thirds of American voters still support Roe vs. Wade, a fact confirmed in numerous polls as recent as last fall. And it was clear that voters rejected the demeaning statements from extreme opponents of abortion during the 2012 general election.

Senate Bill 5009 now resides in Sen. Randi Becker’s, R-Eatonville, Health Care Committee. Gov. Jay Inslee has called on Becker to release the bill to the Senate floor for an up-or-down vote.

We agree. A woman’s right to make her own medical decisions is part of Washington’s social moral attitude.

Washington women should not be denied access to safe and legal abortions because their elected representatives refused to even take a vote.