As Saturday’s massive marches around the country demonstrated, women (and those who care about us) are incredibly concerned about what our lives will be like under the Trump administration. And some of us are downright terrified—with good reason.
The cabinet being assembled likely represents one of the most openly misogynistic in the last few decades, with an assorted crew of politicians, billionaires, and others who have no business making policy and whose views on women’s rights are a throwback to the Stone Age.
Remember that time when Trump said during the campaign that once he bans abortions women who seek them should be punished? Or when Ben Carson suggested that Planned Parenthood was a racist organization that disproportionately set up shop in black neighborhoods and needed to be defunded? Apparently, “making America great” means dragging us ass backward to the days when women had no say over their bodies, had little to no access to reproductive health care, and no right to choose. In Trump’s America, greatness means a whole lot of non-great things for women’s health. And while all women are at risk, certain groups of women find themselves particularly vulnerable—such as immigrant women, women of color, uninsured women, transgender, and non-gender conforming women.
Thankfully, Oregon is one state that is committed to fighting for reproductive justice and health equity for women. According to Mother Jones:
Last week, a coalition of activists and community advocates announced the launch of a new promotional campaign in support of the Reproductive Health Equity Act of 2017, a bill that would make the state the first in the nation to establish reproductive health equity by protecting no-cost birth control and extending full coverage of reproductive health services to immigrant women, transgender and gender-nonconforming people, and the uninsured.
The Pro-Choice Coalition of Oregon, made up of several organizations working on behalf of racial and gender justice and advocates for reproductive rights, is the author of the bill which will be introduced in session next month by state Sen. Laurie Monnes Anderson and state Rep. Jeff Barker, both Democrats.
Apparently, Oregon decided a long time ago that women are people and deserving of reproductive rights. The state was one of the first to legalize abortion in 1969 and is currently one of 28 states which mandates contraceptive coverage, which means that most women would still have coverage for birth control in the event that the Republicans get their way and repeal the Affordable Care Act.
“… the bill would "require health insurers to cover other reproductive health services, including well-woman care, prenatal care, breastfeeding support and testing for sexually transmitted infections," in addition to providing for post-partum care and covering screenings for cervical cancer, breast cancer, and gestational diabetes. The legislation would also add abortion to the list of reproductive health services that commercial insurance plans on the state's Affordable Care Act Exchange must cover with no additional cost—a change that would set Oregon apart from the 25 states that restrict plans on state exchanges from covering abortion. It does offer religious employers an exemption, allowing them to opt-out of providing insurance plans covering contraception and abortion.
The coalition behind the bill also gave specific thought to vulnerable women who are often unable to access insurance coverage, such as undocumented immigrant women and those who are transgender, and included provisions designed to prevent discrimination against those groups.
"The Reproductive Health Equity Act is legislation that would ensure that all Oregonians, regardless of income, citizenship status, gender identity, or the type of insurance that they have, have the freedom to decide if and when they have children," says Laurel Swerdlow, the advocacy director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon, one of the groups on the Pro-Choice Coalition's steering committee.
So as women around the country prepare for what is certain to be a bumpy ride under the new administration, at least we know one state in the union is preparing to actively resist the war against women. Thanks, Oregon!