Legislation Matters

Legislation Matters — January 2016

By: Rev. Greg Garland, CORCRC, V.P. & Chair Legislative Committee

We have not yet entered the State legislative session for 2016 but there are many bills that we are expecting to have to support and to defeat.

We can surely expect some more attempts at TRAP laws (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) that are designed to regulate clinics out of operation and have succeeded in doing just that in other states. They have succeeded where “Personhood” proposals have failed because they are disguised as efforts to protect women.

Click here to read the LA TIMES piece for more information.

Speaking of “Personhood” measures—it is likely that this Hydra will raise another head in one form or another and once again we will need to defeat it.

On the national level there have been attempts to defund Planned Parenthood – all of which have failed. There are still Congressional calls for more investigations into the use of fetal tissue.

BUT THERE IS GOOD NEWS TOO!

Representative Barbara Lee of California introduced the EACH Woman Act of 2015.

The Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance (EACH Woman) Act of 2015 requires the federal government: (1) to ensure coverage for abortion care in public health insurance programs including Medicaid, Medicare, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program; (2) as an employer or health plan sponsor, to ensure coverage for abortion care for participants and beneficiaries; and (3) as a provider of health services, to ensure that abortion care is made available to individuals who are eligible to receive services in its own facilities or in facilities with which it contracts to provide medical care.

The federal government may not prohibit, restrict, or otherwise inhibit insurance coverage of abortion care by state or local governments or by private health plans. State and local governments may not prohibit, restrict, or otherwise inhibit insurance coverage of abortion care by private health plans.

The bill expresses the sense of Congress that: (1) the federal government, acting in its capacity as an insurer, employer, or health care provider, should serve as a model for the nation to ensure coverage of abortion care; and (2) restrictions on coverage of abortion care in the private insurance market must end.

The bill currently has 109 co-sponsors of which Rep. DeGette (CO-1), Rep. Perlmutter (CO-7) are from Colorado. Please contact you Representative and ask that they become a co-sponsor.

You can keep up with this bill at https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/2972