OLYMPIA – On the heels of the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Democrats in the Washington State Legislature are proposing comprehensive action to strengthen state protections for reproductive freedom.
On Tuesday, five bills will be heard across three Senate committees, as well as several more in House committees.
“Hearing and considering all of these bills on the same day demonstrates the ongoing comprehensive work we are focused on and signals how serious we are about protecting the fundamental right to reproductive healthcare,” said Sen. Annette Cleveland (D-Vancouver). “As Chair of the Senate Health and Long Term Care Committee, I am committed to working with my colleagues to ensure Washington continues taking steps forward, not backward when it comes to safe abortion services.”
“We recognize that the threats to reproductive freedom extend beyond the jurisdiction of any one committee,” said Sen. Manka Dhingra (D-Redmond), Deputy Majority Leader and chair of the Senate Law & Justice Committee. “With this suite of legislation, Senate Democrats are coming together to protect those freedoms and provide access to comprehensive reproductive rights and gender-affirming care for all people in Washington and for all people who are now forced to come here to seek the care they need.”
“We cannot be complacent about abortion rights in Washington,” said Sen. Karen Keiser, President Pro Tempore and chair of the Senate Labor & Commerce Committee. “Under the current U.S. Supreme Court, our state laws are at risk. That’s why Senate Democrats are fighting for both statutory and constitutional protections for reproductive freedom.”
Senate Health & Long-Term Care, 8 a.m., Senate Hearing Room 4 and on TVW
- SJR 8202 would amend the state Constitution to protect reproductive freedoms, including the right to have an abortion and use contraception.
- SB 5242 seeks to ease the burden of out-of-pocket costs by eliminating cost-sharing for patients seeking abortion care.
Senate Law & Justice, 10:30 a.m., SHR 4 and on TVW
- SB 5241, the Keep Our Care Act, would regulate hospital and health system mergers, and preserve community access to comprehensive medical care.
- SB 5489 would shield patients and providers of reproductive and gender-affirming care in Washington from retribution by other states.
Senate Labor & Commerce, 10:30 a.m., SHR 1 and on TVW
- SB 5260 would give Washington employers that provide reproductive care benefits tools for redress against retaliation by states with anti-abortion laws.
Several bills are also scheduled to be heard in House Committees. Bills currently scheduled include:
House Civil Rights & Judiciary, 10:30 a.m., House Hearing Room A and on TVW
- HB 1155 (SB 5351) would strengthen protections for the privacy of health data by blocking websites and apps from collecting and sharing it.
House Labor & Workplace Standards, 10:30 a.m., HHR D and on TVW
- HB 1286 (SB 5260) would give Washington employers that provide reproductive care benefits with tools for redress against retaliation by states with anti-abortion laws. (The Senate companion bill is also being heard.)
House Health Care & Wellness, 1:30 p.m., HHR A and on TVW
- HB 1340 (SB 5400) would ensure that healthcare providers cannot be disciplined in our state because they provide reproductive or gender affirming care in accordance with Washington state law, regardless of where the patient resides.
After the Senate hearings conclude at 12:30 p.m., several Senate and House Democratic legislators will speak to the importance of their legislation on the north steps of the Capitol.