Many people seem to think that the debate over a contraception mandate in Obamacare is no big deal. Groups like the Catholic Health Association bought into the compromise, so what’s the problem? The problem is that those pushing Catholic institutions to pay for contraception contrary to their convictions are simply waiting in the weeds for the day when they can do the same thing with abortion.

Don’t believe me? Check out this story from LifeNews about the goings-on in Washington state:

A bill in the Washington state legislature that would require that any insurance policy sold to state residents for maternity coverage also require policyholders to pay for coverage of abortions will get a vote soon.

The Family Policy Institute of Washington has analyzed the bill, which should be a concern to pro-life voters.

“Washington legislators have introduced legislation that would require all insurance policies that offer maternity coverage to also cover abortion,” the pro-life organization says. “This approach is consistent with Washington’s general approach of denying choice to anyone who doesn’t agree with them by taking away options from insurance providers and individuals to provide or purchase insurance plans that do not offer abortion.”

“This is similar to the militantly anti-choice position that the state is currently taking against an Olympia pharmacy that does not want to sell abortion drugs. Pro-choice, as long as you make the right choice,” FPIW says.

The usual suspects are pushing this one hard:

David Schmidt of Live Action also looked at the bill and said it is something that should engender strong opposition.

“Planned Parenthood and other abortion industry allies like NARAL are rallying behind a new Washington State bill that would require health insurance coverage for abortion if a health plan covers maternity care,” he says. “This act will force everyone, include those with pro-life values, to purchase an insurance plan that pays for elective abortion if they want an insurance plan that contains maternity coverage. Those interested in an insurance plan without abortion coverage would be banned from having their plan cover maternity care.”

“The bill is called the Reproductive Parity Act or HB 2330 and has passed the House Health Care & Wellness committee and Ways & Means committee on the back of support from Democrats. The companion Senate bill SB 6185 passed the Health & Long-Term Care committee 9 days ago and now heads to the Rules committee. The full state House and Senate have yet to hold a vote,” Schmidt added.

Schmidt noted how leading pro-abortion groups are pressing for the legislation.

“Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest which is the political lobbying arm of Planned Parenthood of the Northwest states, ‘we want to make sure all insurance policies provide abortion coverage,’” he said. “NARAL Pro-Choice Washington is also backing the mandated abortion coverage proposal and says that they have ‘mobilized its statewide network of members and activists to call and email their legislators in support of the Reproductive Parity Act.’”

Sponsor State Rep. Eileen Cody, set this up as an alternative to the abortion-free federal “insurance exchanges” that Obamacare will bring about as an alternative to state-mandated insurance:

The legislation is tied to the Obamacare law Congress passed, according to comments Cody made in an interview with the Seattle PI newspaper.

“The federal bill required that no federal money go towards abortion in the exchange:  We’re making sure there will be parity between all choices for reproductive rights,” she said. “There will be one plan that will not offer abortions and that will be the federal plan:  All plans offered through the state of Washington will offer abortion.”

Nor is this simply the action of fringe characters. State Sen. Steve Hobbs, a Democrat who is running for Congress, is a primary sponsor. And a Democrat running for governor, who is already in The Other Washington, is a big supporter:

Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Wash., the Democrats’ candidate for governor, supports the measure to force policyholders to pay premiums for abortions.

“The Reproductive Parity Act will provide a legal guarantee that all women have access to a full range of reproductive health services as the health care exchanges are established,” Inslee said in a statement. “This is a matter of reaffirming our commitment to preserving choice for Washington women and ensuring women are ensured full control of their family planning and health care.”

So here’s the plan: have states mandate that insurers have to cover abortion in all plans. Then, once companies and institutions move to the federal exchanges to avoid covering abortion, Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and their allies in Washington will immediately begin agitating to have the exchanges cover abortion, so as to close the “loophole” as a matter of “fairness” and “reproductive parity.”

You can bet the farm on it.

UPDATE: The Washington State House of Representatives has passed this abomination, according to LifeNews:

The Washington state House approved a bill that would require that any insurance policy sold to state residents for maternity coverage also require policyholders to pay for coverage of abortions will get a vote soon.

The House voted by a 52-46 vote to pass HB 2330 and send it on to the state Senate despite strong objection from pro-life advocates.

Leading pro-abortion groups praised the vote, with NARAL Pro-Choice Washington’s Interim Executive Director Christi Stapleton said in a statement, according to AP, that the measure “moves our state one step closer to protecting all Washington women’s access to truly comprehensive reproductive health care coverage.”