Thursday, January 26, 2017

Bills to be introduced in 18 states to protect reproductive rights

Teen Vogue (January 25, 2017): Bills to be Introduced in 18 States to Protect Reproductive Rights, by Jennifer Gerson Uffalussy:

On Wednesday, lawmakers in 18 states announced that they are introducing legislation to counter federal attacks on reproductive rights and to to dismantle reproductive health care services.

The coordinated effort of legislators in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin today mean the introduction of bills that include: requiring crisis pregnancy centers to identify themselves as non-medically licensed facilities, increasing emergency contraception access for survivors of sexual assault, recognizing abortion as healthcare in need of both public and private insurance coverage, and keeping employers from discriminating against employees who have made reproductive health decisions to which they are personally opposed.

The legislation is the result of efforts of the Public Leadership Institute to provide model state legislation that protects reproductive rights.  Gloria Totten of PLI stated that the legislation has been in the works for a long time, but that after President Trump's election there is increased energy to support initiatives to protect reproductive rights.

“Since the election, no one is sitting down,” continues Gloria. “Many, many more people are approaching us and saying, ‘We didn’t think we were ready before because we live in a red state and don’t have the votes.’ But now we’re hearing, ‘We’ve had it — it’s enough.’ Trump has really inspired a lot of advocates and policymakers to stand up and say, ‘I’m going to be bold now.’”

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