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Reproductive Freedom Alliance holds 1st meeting – vows to expand abortion rights

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(The Center Square) – The Reproductive Freedom Alliance, held its first governor’s meeting in Los Angeles on Monday. The alliance consists of a coalition of governors from 21 states committed to protecting abortion access, and expanding reproductive health care choice in their states.

With the decision in Dobbs vs Jackson by the U.S. Supreme Court last June which effectively returned the regulation of abortions to the states, the alliance was formed to strengthen protections for states wanting greater reproductive freedoms.

The governors reiterated their commitment to that end and shared the progress and practices of their states. They were also treated to a briefing on the challenges and hurdles various states face since the Supreme Court decision.

Oregon Governor Tina Kotek commented, ”For years, Oregon prepared for a possible U.S. Supreme Court decision to end the constitutional right to an abortion. We codified the right to access this care, funded support for patient needs and expanded provider capacity. We made strides again this year to protect abortion patients and providers, expand access to gender-affirming care and secure access to essential medication despite baseless lawsuits that put politics above science.”

On July 13, Governor Kotek signed into law HB 2002. The new law has many provision among which it protects abortion providers from civil or criminal penalties; allows abortions for minors, and without consent of parents for those under the age of 15 if 2 health providers agree that informing parents is harmful to the child; Expands requirements for insurers to pay for 12 months of contraception; protects medical records related to reproductive health care services; repeals a law that makes it a misdemeanor to conceal the corpse of an infant; and allows a person or health care facility to sue those who interfere with a healthcare facility.

“Many of us … from blue states have states right next door where there are bans in place or there were trigger laws that immediately triggered a ban, Idaho is one of the worst. So we’ve passed a new law … which enhances our women’s health equity act to ensure that providers are protected … We also have laws now that will protect people who go into our clinics. Believe it or not, there’s still the possibility of obstruction at the clinic door,” Oregon Attorney General Ellen F. Rosenblum said in a recent MSNBC interview.

The alliance noted that states with restrictions on abortion are causing an influx of out-of-state patients into those where abortions are protected. Senior staff members of governors of the alliance have continually met to discuss the best ways to respond to the changing legal frameworks surrounding abortions and what has worked best in their states.

“Even Oregon is not immune from the attacks on health care rights we are seeing in states across the country. I will continue to do everything in my power to protect patients and providers, and keep reproductive health care accessible for all Oregonians.,” Kotek said.

Key staff of alliance governors will meet again later this week to discuss proactive action for the protection of abortion access with a second Reproductive Freedom Alliance meeting planned for later this year.

In addition to Oregon, the alliance includes governors from Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Washington, Wisconsin and the Territory of Guam.

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