OLYMPIA – In Washington, abortions must be covered by all state-regulated health plans that cover maternity services, but out-of-pocket costs can currently be a burden for patients.

Sen. Annette Cleveland (D-Vancouver) and Rep. Jessica Bateman (D-Olympia) are looking to ease that burden through Senate Bill 5242 and its companion, House Bill 1115. These bills seek to eliminate cost-sharing for patients seeking abortion care.

This means anyone seeking an abortion cannot be required to pay a co-payment or meet their deductible to have their services covered.

“No one’s reproductive health decision and health care access should be impacted by their ability to pay, but cost is a significant barrier to abortion care,” Bateman said, “especially for low-income patients.”

Eliminating cost-sharing also ensures equity and fairness by further relieving barriers to access care.

“States across the country are moving us backwards when it comes to abortion care and reproductive freedom. Washington will not be one of those states,” Cleveland said. “This is the first in a series of bills that my Democratic colleagues will introduce this week, signaling that we will do all that we can to ensure Washingtonians have access to this fundamental right.”