Oregon Lauded as Progressive Model for Reproductive Healthcare Reform
As Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed on Tuesday a law that bans state insurance providers from covering abortion, pro-choice advocates celebrated a bill signed by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown that proponents are calling the nation’s most progressive reproductive healthcare policy.
“There is still work to be done, but today we celebrate that more Oregonians have the freedom to decide if and when they have children based on what’s best for them and their family’s circumstances.”
—Amy Casso, Western States Center
Oregon’s Reproductive Health Equity Act, or House Bill 3391, expands access to birth control, abortion, and other reproductive services to thousands of Oregon residents regardless of their citizenship status, gender identity, income, or type of insurance.
“This is an amazing victory, and it’s all the more significant given the current political landscape,” said Amy Casso, Gender Justice program director for Western States Center. “In the face of relentless rollbacks and attacks at the federal level, Oregonians are showing the rest of the country what it means to be resilient and visionary.”
“Women, transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals, people of color, immigrants and people of faith are not going to silently stand around while politicians in Washington D.C. try to take away our healthcare,” said Laurel Swerdlow, advocacy director for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon.
In addition to attacks on healthcare at the federal level, the Houston Chronicle reports that along with Texas, 25 other states ban exchange plans established under the Affordable Care Act from providing abortion coverage, and eight ban private insurance plans from covering abortions without exceptions for rape and incest. Texas’s new law, which also doesn’t offer exceptions, requires women to pay extra premiums—or as opponents have described it, “rape insurance”—for plans that cover abortions.
Despite these measures as well as “efforts in two dozen states, most of them led by Republicans, to restrict access to abortion in recent years by imposing strict new regulations on the procedure and on those who provide it,” as the Washington Post reports, supporters of Oregon’s law point to it as an example for other states.
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