Is advancing abortion the top priority for Washington State Democrats this legislative session?
Apparently. At least for many of them.
While God created "Light," calling it "good" then separated it from the "Darkness" on the first day of Creation, Democrats chose "Darkness" for the first day of the 2014 legislative session.
In less than an hour after the 2014 session convened this week, they re-introduced a bill that would require all healthcare plans in Washington that include maternity coverage to also pay for abortions.
Representative Eileen Cody (D-West Seattle) has sponsored House Bill 2148.
When a similar bill, that failed, was introduced last year, some, even in the faith community, were publicly suggesting that it wasn't really all that important.
They were wrong then and will be wrong again if they haven't changed their mind.
Planned Parenthood and NARAL are also assuring people of faith that this bill covers their concerns about conscience and objections to abortion. Don't worry about it, they say.
The Seattle Times is touting that Washington ranks at the top of the list of pro-abortion states. They also report that Washington is at the bottom of pro-life states and have been so for the past 5 years.
There are reasons for this.
The Olympia Report says, "A similar bill was passed by the House last year but died when the Senate Health Care Committee refused to bring the measure to the floor for a vote."
We wrote about that in this column last year and privately spoke with Senators about the bill.
Pro-Life senators essentially killed the bill.
The Olympia Report says, "Democrats were incensed by the move, believing they had the votes on the floor to pass the bill into law..."
They were. And still are. Perhaps they do.
Their were critics on both sides of last year's bill. I was not surprised to see the abortion industry and their allies strongly advocating for it, but was a bit taken back by some from the faith community suggesting that the bill was not all that important.
They linked the "lack of importance" to the fact that there is "only one insurance plan that doesn't already include abortion services."
They were wrong then and will be again if they fail to change their mind.
This is very important, for several reasons.
This year the proponents are promising they have "strengthened" the "conscience clause" to be sure it will exempt certain employers like Catholic hospitals, who refuse to offer abortions.
Do we want people who would make abortion their first legislative priority "looking out" for our right to conscience on the sanctity of life?
I don't think so.
A fox and a hen house come to mind.
Planned Parenthood has told the legislators they are satisfied "conscientious objectors" are adequately protected by the wording of this year's version.
That's reassuring isn't it?
An organization that leads the country in the taking of innocent lives is assuring the pro-life citizens they are looking out for their right to conscience and deeply held religious belief in the sanctity of life.
Janet Chung, attorney for the abortion industry says, "The bill preserves statutory right of conscience...it's all about fairness."
Peggy O'Ban with Human Life Washington says, "It should be called Conscience Coercion."
She's right. Look what must happen in order to comply.
While proponents promise they have "strengthened" the conscience rights aspect of their scheme, even if the employer opts not to provide abortion services, the insurance carrier would have to:
- Provide enrollees with written notice of the services the carrier refuses to cover for reason of conscience or religion.
- Provide written information describing how an enrollee may directly access services in an expeditious manner.
- Ensure that enrollees who are refused services have prompt access to information describing how they may directly access services in an expeditious manner.
The Report says, "For opponents, deciding between providing the service directly and helping employees find it elsewhere amounts to a distinction without a difference.
O'Ban says, "The conscience clause in this bill is impotent,” and it is.
Susan Rutherford, a Kirkland obstetrician says, "It's all about taking away the conscience clause and marginalizing those who oppose abortion on moral or religious grounds."
Michael Norton with Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) says, "HB 2148 is an extreme measure...no other state in the nation forces employers to provide abortion coverage against their wishes."
He says, "It's a shell game. It gives conscience protection, and then it takes it away."
Bishop Almaguer of the Seattle Catholic Archdiocese says, "It eviscerates the conscience clause."
He also says, "The Catholic Church does not now--nor will it ever--offer abortion services in its healthcare plans."
Some thoughts on HB 2148.
- If someone suggests this bill is not important, don't believe them.
- Stay informed. We will follow this and help you stay informed.
- Be prepared to make your voice heard on the matter. The House will probably pass this bill...again, because the Democrats control the House and the abortion industry controls the Democrats---at least most of them. We will strongly encourage you to call the lawmakers as this bill progresses.
- Or, you may contact your legislators now with this number 1-800-562-6000 or go faithandfreedom.us for more help in contacting them.
- The fight for Life has never been easy, but it has always been right.
Be Vigilant. Be Bold. Be Informed. Be Discerning. Be Prayerful. Be Pro-Active. Be Blessed.