OR first to offer free abortions for all, including illegal aliens

Bruno Cirelli
Agosto 16, 2017

Kate Brown on Tuesday signed into law a bill expanding coverage on abortions and other reproductive services to thousands of Oregonians, regardless of income, citizenship status or gender identity. Proponents called it America's most progressive reproductive health policy.

The Pro-Choice Coalition of OR said it is the first legislation in the United States to comprehensively address systemic barriers to accessing reproductive health care. Chris Pair, Brown's press secretary, confirmed Brown signed the bill Tuesday.

Gov. Brown said the increased coverage will remain, even if the federal government overturns the Affordable Care Act. Linthicum predicted lawsuits will be filed over the issue. That benefit was supposed to be guaranteed under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, but insurers found loopholes in it.

The $10.2 million Reproductive Health Equity Act includes $500,000 for abortions for the estimated 22,873 women who would be eligible for the Oregon Health Plan, the state's Medicaid program, "except for their immigration status". "All completely covered by either insurance companies or by the or taxpayers". The voting was generally along party lines, with Democrats in favor and Republicans opposed.

Two other states, California and NY, require all private health insurance plans to cover abortion.

The law was passed to help provide quality reproductive healthcare for those who often encounter significant systemic barriers to receiving care, particularly immigrant women, low-income women, survivors of domestic violence, transgender and gender-nonconforming people, women of color, and young women, according to the ACLU of OR, a member of the Pro-Choice Coalition of OR, which helped write the law.

"We are so grateful for the bold leadership of Governor Brown and legislative champions who understand that Oregonians don't want reproductive health care attacked", Laurel Swerdlow, advocacy director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of OR, told The Washington Times. "Women, transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals, people of color, immigrants and people of faith are not going to silently stand around while politicians in Washington D.C. try to take away our health care".

Under the bill, insurers would be prohibited from shifting costs from those mandates to enrollees' deductibles, coinsurance or copayments, although the measure offers some religious-based exemptions. Those who want such coverage would be required to pay an additional premium.

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