Employers would be prohibited from discriminating against women seeking full health care, under legislation introduced by Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, Sen. Annette Cleveland, D-Vancouver, Sen. Karen Keiser, D-Kent, and 17 other senators. The Senate Commerce, Labor and Sports Committee will hold a hearing on the bill today.

“The Hobby Lobby decision allowing privately-held employers to discriminate against women by restricting their access to contraception was an outrage and threatened women’s health and women’s rights,” said Ranker. “It remains an attack on our core values and is unacceptable; we will protect contraception and family planning at every opportunity.”

Senate Bill 5760 would ensure women have access to contraception under their health care plans here in Washington state by strengthening the Washington Law Against Discrimination.

“Barrier-free access to birth control should be a choice that remains available to all women, as discrimination against women and women’s health needs is contrary to our values as citizens of this state,” said Cleveland. “This legislation safeguards the right of Washington women to receive essential health coverage.”

“We can and must ensure that Washington women have equal rights and real choice to make their own reproductive health decisions regardless of their employer,” said Keiser. “Now is the time to proactively defend our values from any destructive policies adopted at the federal level.”