In Idaho and Ohio, new laws seek to put limits on abortions, while in Washington state a bill was signed into law requiring all health insurers to cover abortion, under certain conditions.
KPVI reports that Idaho will “require women seeking medical abortions to be informed that drug-induced abortions may be halted halfway.” The law is controversial because some medical groups said there is little evidence to support the claim.
Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter quietly signed the proposal into law on Tuesday without comment along with nearly 50 other bills. The law will go into effect July 1.
Proponents of the idea say doctors can give a woman the hormone progesterone to stop an abortion after she has taken the first of two medications needed to complete the abortion.
Meanwhile, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has said that there is no medically accepted evidence that a drug-induced abortion can be interrupted.
In Ohio, a federal judge prevented the state’s latest abortion restrictions, prompting a group of Republican lawmakers to suggest banning all abortions in the state.
NPR reports: Under a bill introduced Monday, HB 565, the state would prohibit abortions even in cases of rape, incest or danger to a woman’s life.
The proposal would allow criminal charges against both doctors and pregnant women seeking abortions and would characterize an “unborn human” as a person under Ohio’s criminal code regarding homicide. That means abortions could be punishable by life in prison or even the death penalty.
The report continues: Ohio has incrementally added abortion restrictions in recent years, including a ban on abortions after 20 weeks that went into effect in 2017. Not all the laws have endured, though. Last week, a judge put on hold a state law banning abortions based on a diagnosis of Down syndrome.
In Washington, Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill into law that says if a health insurer covers maternity care, they must also cover abortions.
The Washington Examiner reports: The law, the Reproductive Parity Act, had been considered for more than six years. It also would mandate coverage for every form of birth control, including emergency contraception, without any out-of-pocket costs.
The bill makes a few changes to provisions that are already available under federal laws and regulations. Under Obamacare, all health insurance plans across the country are required to cover maternity care but not abortions. In October, the Trump administration scaled back ruleson contraception, saying that employers could refuse to cover it if they had religious or moral objections. The Washington law eclipses that exemption.
Inslee said at the bill’s signing that the law would “make sure that women have access to the full spectrum of healthcare they need without cost barriers or stigma.
“Reproductive healthcare, including family planning and abortion, is healthcare,” he said.
The Reproductive Parity Act was backed by Planned Parenthood.
In a Twitter post, Inslee said the bill was “all about protecting the rights of women in our state.”
From reproductive parity in health care to equal pay to ensuring we’re standing with anyone who says “Me Too,” today’s bill signing was all about protecting the rights of women in our state. #waleg pic.twitter.com/yUoKFSEffU
— Governor Jay Inslee (@GovInslee) March 21, 2018