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Breaking News: Group Health Cooperative Drops Abortion Coverage from State Health Benefits Exchange Plans

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NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, in coalition with Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Legal Voice, have received confirmation that Group Health will not be including abortion care as part of its State Health Benefits Exchange coverage for low-income Washingtonians.

From our joint press release:

Group Health asserts that abortion care will be made available to patients in Group Health clinics, but the lack of coverage in the plan creates confusion and presents a barrier to access, while showing an alarming disregard for Washington women. It’s also inconsistent with Group Health’s own record on reproductive rights, which Group Health leadership and consumer members have twice affirmed through the cooperative’s democratic governing process. In 1969, Group Health’s Board of Trustees voted to endorse abortion reform, and in 1985, Group Health members voted down a proposal to ban abortion in Group Health facilities by a margin of 4 to 1.

“It’s particularly galling to see one of the most progressive, pro-woman healthcare providers in our state placing limits on abortion coverage,” said Rachel Berkson, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Washington. “What we’re seeing now is a direct result of the legislature’s failure to pass the Reproductive Parity Act (RPA).”

Read the whole thing here.

Check out coverage in the Seattle Times and on Slog.

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