The Oregon Senate voted to pass an amended version of the bill that caused Republicans to stage a six-week walkout. The next step is for Gov. Tina Kotek to affix her signature to legislation securing reproductive rights for Oregonians. HB2002 also guarantees transgender-affirming care, abortion, and contraception.
This bill allows for commonly used contraception. Individuals’ rights cover “all postcoital methods, drugs, or devices to prevent pregnancy.” Additionally, the legislation ensures reproductive health care for everyone, from family planning and birth control to abortion services and miscarriage management.
Earlier this month, Democrat Senators did not know if their colleagues from across the aisle would return before the 2023 regular session ended.
Fortunately, the rebel GOP members returned to debate as many of the nearly 300 bills were waiting for votes as time allowed. Fortunately, they have passed many of those awaiting bills Oregonian families need, several extending or clarifying their rights.
As a concession, lawmakers agreed to change the language about parental notifications for abortion. The Reproductive Health Rights bill originally allowed children under 15 to access abortions without parental notice, which was too extreme.
Under the compromise, “If an abortion provider believes notifying [the] parents of a patient under 15 years old would not be in that patient’s best interest, the physician would not have to inform the parents — but would need another provider to concur. However, no second opinion would be necessary if involving a parent or guardian would lead to the abuse or neglect of the patient.”
Legislative Changes for Reproductive Rights Act
Another change covers public universities with student health centers. The proposed rule would have ordered the colleges to make emergency contraception and medication abortion was dropped.
However, legislators did not change the rules requiring health insurance to cover medically necessary gender-affirming care for transgender people.
HB2002 includes rules for licensing medical practitioners who “because of disciplinary action by another state resulting solely from the person’s provision of a reproductive or gender-affirming health care service that is otherwise lawful in this state.”
Democrats celebrated the passage of the Reproductive Health Rights Act. Speaking from the House floor, Rep. Rob Nosse (D-District 42) praised HB2002. He said the bill “preserves the right Oregonians had under Roe v. Wade and further promotes health and safety for Oregonians by codifying the right to the full spectrum of reproductive health care.”
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
ABC News: After GOP walkout, Oregon passes amended bills on abortion, trans care and guns; by Claire Rush
82nd Oregon Legislative Assembly-2023 Regular Session: House Bill 2002 pdf
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