Hello everyone. We are indeed living in a strange world. Here is a response to an e-mail I sent to our Senators regarding House Bill 1044, a bill mandating abortion coverage in maternity insurance plans (To learn more about the bill, click here). The green phrases are my own exclamations of surprise and disgust, but the words in bold are from the Senator himself:
Thank you for taking the time to contact me, voicing your concerns with the Reproductive Parity Act. As you know, the RPA requires insurance plans that provide for maternity care also provide equivalent coverage for the termination of a pregnancy. It would not require any individual or organization with a religious or moral opposition to a specific service to pay for or purchase coverage for that service. Furthermore, the insurance plans are not required to cover pregnancy terminations that would be illegal under state law.
I support this bill, but unfortunately it did not make it out of committee before cut off despite having 23 co-sponsors. Thankfully, its companion in the house – Engrossed House Bill 1044 – passed and has been sent to us in the Senate. I hope the new senate majority will allow this badly-needed conversation to occur. (UH-OH!)
Furthermore, I opposed Senate Bill 5156, which would have required parental notification 48 hours prior to terminating the pregnancy of a minor. (you opposed what?) This measure was not where Washington voters are, it was a far-right bill that would serve to intimidate women making a personal choice about their bodies. Thankfully, this bill did not make it out of committee, and has no companion in the house.
It has been my privilege as a legislator to always vote in favor of a woman’s freedom to choose, just as the people of Washington have voted in favor of freedom at every opportunity. (hummm, like gay marriage, perhaps?)
Three years before Roe v. Wade voters legalized abortion in Washington State and in 1991 we passed an initiative that would ensure this remained our law even if the federal decision was overturned. (You're celebrating that?)
Rather than respect a woman’s privacy to make difficult and intensely personal medical decisions on her own, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle believe those decisions should be made by a male-dominated, governmental entity (Does a male-dominate entity even exist anymore?) . We must continue to fight, and we must support the RPA.
This bill is about common sense, and it is about respect, but most importantly it is about justice. It is just to ensure full equality for women in their healthcare choices. It is just to ensure that women have full responsibility over their own medical care and it is just to affirm the clear will of Washington voters for decades.
While you may disagree with the RPA, its merits deserve to be debated in a public forum. The Reproductive Parity Act needs to be brought to the floor for a vote.
Edward B. Murray
Here is my original e-mail that initiated this heartfelt response:
Hi, my name is Kyle Bowes, and I am a student living in our beautiful state of Washington. I am sending this e-mail to voice my disapproval of House Bill 1044. If this bill passes, anyone—even churches—buying a maternity insurance plan would be forced to buy additional coverage that would cover the abortion of a pregnancy. For churches and many individuals, this will mean that they will be forced to provide for something that goes against their religious beliefs.
I also disapprove of this bill because it will be much easier for an individual to terminate a pregnancy, and that is something that should not be done lightly. Psalm 139:13-14 says, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Since I am a Christian, I believe that when an abortion is carried out, a fearfully and wonderfully made life is ended. In fact, my family has adopted two precious little ones that could have very well been murdered in their mommy's womb, especially if HB 1044 had been made a law before they were born. This bill is close to home for us.
Because of this, I respectfully ask that House Bill 1044 be rejected by the Senate of Washington state. This bill will not protect women's health; it will help end the lives of thousands of precious little women every year! Please, I urge you as the leaders of this state to not violate the right of choice every American has by mandating abortion coverage. Furthermore, I urge you to consider the life inside a mother's womb that cannot fend for him or herself. They need someone to fight for them. Will you?
Kyle J. Bowes
Though after further study I admit I was partially wrong about this abortion coverage being mandated (those who are religiously opposed or otherwise cannot be forced to buy this coverage), here is something you must do if you refuse this abortion coverage:
- Ensure that enrollees who are refused services have prompt access to information describing how they may directly access services in an expeditious manner;
So though you will not be required to buy this coverage, it is clear how much easier it will be for any woman, even those in the businesses that do not provide abortion insurance, to gain access to these services that will end the precious life of a defenseless person. This is just one more immoral step our state is trying to take; we must fight it! Here is a link to all the e-mail addresses of our state's Senators. Please, send them a polite but pointed e-mail about why this bill should be rejected. Furthermore, let all your Washingtonian friends know about this bill and urge them to call or e-mail our Senators. Lydia, post information of this on your blog and your Facebook page! Let's flood our Senators with e-mails and phone calls! We cannot stand by and watch murder become even more commonplace and accepted in our society!