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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spin Control

Reproductive Parity bill debate: whose choice being taken away?

OLYMPIA The Reproductive Parity Act is a "simple, technical fix", its sponsor said in introducing the debate. It doesn't change anything right now, but it would protect the right to choose abortion if that becomes a problem under the federal Health Care Act changes.

Rep. Eileen Cody, D-West Seattle, the chairwoman of the House Health Care Committee, downplayed the significance of the bill, while Republicans blasted it as "anti-choice.

Rep. Shelly Short, R-Addy, said it takes away her right to choose a medical plan without abortion coverage: "Under Obamacare, there is a requirement that one plan be offered that not cover abortion. Medicaid right now covers abortion...Voluntarily, insurance companies provide that coverage. Organizations provide that cover... "We have very few options in my district...That (Obamacare) plan would not be available."

Washington doesn't force doctors to perform abortion or prescribe lethal drugs if it goes against their conscience, and shouldn't force businesses to cut maternity care because they oppose abortion, other Republicans said. Choosing an abortion may be a constitutional right, but other people shouldn't be forced to pay for exercising that right any more than they should be required to buy someone a gun to exercise Second Amendment rights.

Women want to be able to make their own decision about their lives and their bodies...They do not want some bureaucrat in an insurance company telling them how to make their decisions, Rep. Steve Tharinger, D-Dungeness, said. We are empowering women to follow their conscience."

If women have the intelligence and capablity to determine whether to abort a pregnancy...why would we choose to take away my choice not to," Rep. Norma Smith, R-Clinton, said.

The Spokesman-Review's political team keeps a critical eye on local, state and national politics.