House Healthcare Committee Passes Reproductive Health Equity Act
SALEM, Ore., April 14, 2017 - The Oregon House Healthcare Committee today passed landmark legislation to ensure reproductive health equity across the state.
The Reproductive Health Equity Act (House Bill 3391) removes financial barriers and ensures that every Oregonian is empowered to make their own decisions about whether and when to become a parent. Limitations on reproductive health services can have profoundly harmful effects on public health and on an individual person's life opportunities. Particularly at risk are those who already face significant barriers to receiving high-quality care, such as low-income women, women of color, immigrant women, young women, survivors of domestic violence, and transgender and gender-nonconforming people.
House Bill 3391 is sponsored by 21 State Representatives and 10 State Senators. The bill has been developed over the past two years by the Pro-Choice Coalition of Oregon with input from community leaders around Oregon and legislators.
"Working families are under so much strain today and often have a hard time making ends meet," Andrea Paluso, Executive Director for Family Forward Oregon. "Families in Oregon need support like paid time off from work to care for loved ones and access to affordable child care. It is also critical that they have access to affordable, essential reproductive health care, which this bill guarantees. We are thrilled that the House Healthcare Committee has advanced this urgent remedy."
This landmark legislation closes multiple gaps in reproductive health coverage:
- Requires all commercial plans to cover the entire cost of the full range of reproductive health services - including family planning, vasectomy and abortion - without deductible or co-pay by the patient.
- Establishes coverage for reproductive health care, especially postpartum care for new mothers for Oregonians who are categorically excluded from health programs due to citizenship status.
- Assures access without government interference to the full range of reproductive healthcare, including abortion.
- Prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity in reproductive health coverage.
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The Pro-Choice Coalition of Oregon is a diverse, statewide coalition that is working to create a world where access to reproductive health care doesn't depend on who you are, where you live or how much you earn - where every Oregonian who can become pregnant has the opportunity to choose their own path to a healthy and meaningful life. The coalition consists of American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon, Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon, Family Forward Oregon, NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon, Oregon Latino Health Coalition, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon and Western States Center.