The Senate Health Care committee failed to vote on two separate bills with significant implications for conscience rights, religious freedom, and parental rights in their last committee meeting before today’s deadline. This signals the likely death for an Abortion Insurance Mandate (HB 2148) as well as a bill to ban Sexual Orientation Change Therapy (HB 2451).
This represents the third-year in a row the Abortion Insurance Mandate, the top priority of the abortion industry in Washington, has died in the Senate after passing the House. It would have required every insurance policy bought and sold in Washington State to cover abortion, which would require every insurance customer to effectively subsidize abortion through their insurance premiums.
While many states, including Washington, pay for abortion with taxpayer dollars, no state has taken the step of requiring every individual, business, or church that purchases health insurance to become de facto partners in the abortion business in violation of their conscience. Neither will Washington-at least for now.
This was the first time a ban on Sexual Orientation Change Therapy (SOCE) was introduce in the Washington legislature. A bill to study the issue was introduced in Washington in 2013 but failed to pass.
Similar bills passed in New Jersey and California last year and have been introduced in Maryland, Minnesota, New York, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania.
The ban on SOCE appears to be a new point of emphasis for the gay lobby. It is likely that the bill will return again next year even if it does not pass this session. A list of concerns with the bill can be found here and here.
A summary of the arguments made in support of and opposition to the bill in a Senate committee hearing can be found here.
In the legislature, no bill is ever completely dead until everyone goes home. In fact, some bills become law without ever having a hearing in either the House or the Senate. However, bills that fail to make it out of committee’s by the deadline are generally not heard from again during that session.
The fact that these bills did not become law can be attributed in large part to the number of people who reached out to their legislators on these issues. Offices told us that they had received hundreds of calls on these issues and that communication from constituents made a significant difference.
Your willingness to take a few moments out of your life to write an email or make a quick phone call has made the world a slightly better place than it would have been otherwise. So thank you.
You can and should continue to email your legislators about these or any other issue that concerns you by click here. Your conversations with lawmakers will become even more effective if they don’t only occur during a “crisis”.
You are encouraged to thank the members of the Senate Health Care committee for not advancing these bills that would significantly harm conscience rights. It’s always nice to hear someone say “thank you”, especially when you’re a legislator.
Becker, Randi (R) Chair, (360) 786-7602
Dammeier, Bruce (R) Vice Chair, (360) 786-7648
Pederson, Jamie (D) Ranking Minority Member (360) 786-7628
Angel, Jan (R), (360) 786-7650
Bailey, Barbara (R), (360) 786-7618
Cleveland, Annette (D), (360) 786-7696
Keiser, Karen (D), (360) 786-7664
Parlette, Linda Evans (R), (360) 786-7622
Thank you for being part of the team.