Opinion: Support HB 2002 for Reproductive Rights
by Marni Tapscott
Oregon has the best laws in the country protecting the right to have an abortion. However, at a time when many states, especially our neighbor Idaho, have sharply curtailed the right to an abortion even if the mother’s life is at stake, it’s time for Oregon to stand up for reproductive rights.
A measure introduced into the state legislature, House Bill 2002, proposes to expand access and lower barriers to reproductive and gender-affirming health care. Oregon State Representatives Andrea Valderrama and Travis Nelson; and State Senators Kate Lieber and Elizabeth Steiner – all Democrats – are the primary sponsors of HB 2002. A summary of the proposed measure is available here. The bill is currently in committee in the Oregon House. For more information check out this link.
Many communities in the state still struggle to have access to the full spectrum of reproductive, sexual and gender affirming healthcare. This includes low-income Oregonians, those outside the I-5 corridor, women, LBGTQ2SIA+ individuals, Black, Indigenous, People of Color, immigrants and people with disabilities. It’s crucial that Oregon voters support this new measure, which will increase access to reproductive and gender-affirming medical care.
Some key objectives of the proposed bill are:
- To protect providers’ ability to provide care for all who seek care
- To protect health care centers and providers from harassment and abuse
- To close gaps in insurance coverage
To enhance access to care and address reproductive healthcare deserts through a pilot mobile healthcare program and expanding services at existing health centers.
Various groups in Oregon support HB 2002, including ACLU, Basic Rights Oregon, Fair Shot for All and Planned Parenthood. The Democratic Party platforms for Multnomah County and Oregon both support reproductive freedom and health care. MultDems who support this measure can write to their legislators in Salem. To find your state representative, visit https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/FindYourLegislator/leg-search.html .
Marni Tapscott is a Neighborhood Leader in House District 28 as well as a paint and fiber artist. Visit her work at https://www.marnita.com/.