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Monday, April 1, 2013 - Page updated at 03:30 p.m.

Editorial: State Senate Health Care Committee should vote on abortion measure

AFTER the Senate Health Care Committee hearing on the Reproductive Parity Act Monday, members should vote for it before a key deadline Wednesday.

State lawmakers do not need to complicate this issue. House Bill 1044 would maintain insurance coverage for women seeking abortions after federal health reforms take effect.

Insurance providers need clarity and predictability.

So do those women who make this private decision in consultation with their doctors.

The House passed the bill Feb. 22, and Gov. Jay Inslee promises to sign it into law.

Senate Health Care Committee Chairman Randi Becker, R-Eatonville, scheduled the public hearing on Monday — only two days before a key legislative cutoff.

Ranking member Karen Keiser, D-Kent, says all four of the committee’s Democrats support HB 1044, but anti-abortion Republicans hold a one-seat majority.

She is skeptical those members would let the bill advance to the Rules Committee, where it’s unclear whether it has the votes to move to the floor.

The Reproductive Parity Act merits consideration by the full Senate, where so far it appears to have broader support.

Anti-abortion Republicans on the Health Care and Rules committees should not go against Washington’s tradition of supporting a woman’s privacy.

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