Dear friends and neighbors,
I am thrilled to report that this legislative session we have made significant progress in protecting reproductive health care in our state. I am proud to work alongside my colleagues in advocating for these efforts to ensure that all Washingtonians have access to the reproductive care they need.
Washington state has a longstanding commitment to protect reproductive rights, and we have reaffirmed that commitment this year with a series of measures to safeguard access to care. We’ve stood up to extremist attacks on reproductive freedoms and we’re working tirelessly to ensure Washingtonians have access to the care they need.
- First, we have taken steps to protect patient privacy with the My Health My Data Act. This is the first law of its kind in the nation, and it prohibits companies from collecting, sharing and selling sensitive health data without the explicit permission of patients. HB 1155 is about protecting the freedom and dignity to make private healthcare decisions without fear that data will be shared with states that would use it to prosecute someone based on their reproductive health care decisions.
- Additionally, we have eliminated out-of-pocket costs for patients seeking abortion services through SB 5242, ensuring that cost is not a barrier to access. Health care coverage should not dictate a person’s pregnancy decisions and Washington must continue to lead in this area. This bill is an important move to remove cost barriers that otherwise may delay care.
- We have also passed HB 1469 to protect patients and providers from retaliation by other states and restrict the ability for a court to enforce extradition to other states based on the provision or receipt of protected health care services within the standard and duty of medical quality medical care.
- We’ve also taken steps to protect providers who deliver care under Washington state law from licensure discipline, through HB 1340. Providers in Washington should be able to perform legal procedures in this state without fear of discipline, retribution, or criminal action, subject to their regular duties of providing good care. Doctors should be able to provide comprehensive care without fear.
- And we’ve safeguarded access to mifepristone, a safe and effective abortion medication, via SB 5768. Mifepristone has been safely used for the past 23 years, and individuals should be able to continue to choose this method of abortion, which is used in nearly 60% of abortions in our state.
- Finally, we have provided funding for health care infrastructure through a $15 million budget provision to protect access to reproductive care and support clinics experiencing an influx of patients from out of state.
Thanks to our ongoing efforts, Washington is ranked as one of the top three states in the country for reproductive rights and access to essential reproductive health care services. Our state is committed to making sure we continue to provide excellent care to all Washingtonians and people from other states who are forced to come here for care when their rights are taken away.
We must continue to protect reproductive health care and will always stand up for the reproductive rights of everyone in our state. We are grateful for your support in these efforts and will continue to fight to ensure that all Washingtonians have access to the reproductive care they need.
As we wrap up legislative session, I encourage you to continue to stay engaged and involved in the legislative process. Your input and feedback are vital to ensuring that we are creating policies that truly serve the needs of our community. Send me an email at email@example.com or give me a call at 360-786-7662.