Washington Senate approves abortion insurance bill

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The Senate has passed a measure that would require Washington insurers offering maternity care to also cover elective abortions.

Senate Bill 6219 passed the chamber Wednesday on a 26-22 vote, with one Republican, Sen. Joe Fain, voting with majority Democrats. The measure now heads to the House, where it has passed in previous years but ultimately stalled when the Senate was controlled by Republicans.

In addition to linking abortion coverage with maternity care, under the bill, health plans issued or renewed after Jan. 1, 2019 are required to provide copayment and deductible-free coverage for all contraceptive drugs, devices, as well as voluntary sterilization, and any consultations or other procedures that are necessary.