Seattle - The Health Equity and Reproductive Rights Organizations (HERRO) Coalition announces prime legislation for 2019, the Reproductive Health Access for All Act (HB 1612 / SB 5602). This bill, sponsored by Rep. Nicole Macri and Sen. Emily Randall, fills crucial gaps left in coverage for immigrants, transgender and gender non-conforming individuals, and students.
Specifically, the Reproductive Health Access for All (RHAA) Act would create a state-funded program to cover comprehensive reproductive health care services for immigrants who currently cannot access state medical services due to federal restrictions; expand the list of required services from private insurers to include those that meet the specific needs of transgender and gender non-conforming communities; enhance anti-discrimination policy to address the discrimination and denials of services many immigrant, transgender, and gender non-conforming people face; and require student health plans to cover reproductive health services.
In a joint statement, HERRO says:
“The Reproductive Health Access for All Act is a critical step in ensuring all people in Washington—especially those who are already marginalized by gender identity, immigration status, or studentship—have access to the reproductive health care they need to thrive.
“While Washington has long supported efforts to provide health care access for all people living in the state, our immigrant, transgender, and student communities still face barriers in obtaining access to and coverage for reproductive health care. The RHAA takes important, meaningful steps to dismantle these barriers and ensure comprehensive, affordable, discrimination-free reproductive health care is within reach for all people in our state.
“This legislation comes at a time when reproductive rights, particularly those of marginalized communities, are coming under attack at the federal level. The RHAA expressly rejects these efforts to undermine access to health care, while enshrining Washington values into law for generations to come.”
Senate bill sponsor Sen. Emily Randall, D-Bremerton, says, “With vulnerable communities under attack, it’s important to take a bold stance to protect those who are hardest hit. This bill does just that. It allows our transgender and undocumented communities to access the essential reproductive health care they deserve."
House bill sponsor Rep. Nicole Macri, D-Seattle, says, “I’m honored to bring forward this legislation. Ensuring reproductive freedom for all is a core value that I hold dearly. This bill will help eliminate many of the barriers that immigrants and transgender people face to receiving critical health and family planning services. It’s been a privilege to work with the HERRO Coalition to craft this important legislation, and I sincerely thank them for their strong and compelling advocacy.”
Tiffany Hankins, Executive Director NARAL Pro-Choice Washington
Lisa M. Stone, Executive Director, Legal Voice
Terri Lindeke, Coordinator, Washington State Chapter National Organization for Women
Tamaso Johnson, Public Policy Director, Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence (WSCADV)
Sara L. Ainsworth, Legal & Policy Director, The SIA Legal Team
Huma Zarif, Staff Attorney, Northwest Health Law Advocates (NoHLA)
Jackie Vaughn, Program and Outreach Director, Surge Reproductive Justice
Connie Cantrell, Executive Director, Cedar River Clinics
Jennifer M. Allen, CEO, Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii
Nilofar Ganjaie, Board Director, Northwest Abortion Access Fund
Sarah Prager, MD, Washington Section Chair, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG)
Jessi Murray, Policy and Advocacy Committee Member, Northwest Abortion Access Fund
Tobi Hill-Meyer & Elayne Wylie, Co-Executive Directors, Gender Justice League
Michele Storms, Interim Executive Director, ACLU of Washington
Judith Prince, President of AAUW of Washington State
To set up an interview with a member of the HERRO Coalition or for more information, please contact:
Cedar River Clinics
NARAL Pro-Choice Washington
Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest & Hawaii
Surge Reproductive Justice
NOW Washington State Chapter
Northwest Abortion Access Fund
Sarah Prager, MD
Gender Justice League
ACLU of Washington
Public Information Officer, Sen. Randall
Public Information Officer, Rep. Macri
The Health Equity and Reproductive Rights Organizations (HERRO) Coalition brings together advocacy organizations and reproductive health care providers in Washington state to advance equity in sexual and reproductive rights, health, and justice. Through legislation, public policy, and social change, HERRO strives to guarantee meaningful access, safety, and self-determination for all. Members include AAUW, ACLU of Washington, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Cedar River Clinics, Full Spectrum Doulas, Gender Justice League, Legal Voice, Midwives Association of Washington State, National Organization for Women (NOW)–Washington State Chapter, NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, Northwest Abortion Access Fund, Northwest Health Law Advocates, Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest & Hawaii, SIA Legal Team, Surge Reproductive Justice, and the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence.