We have seen some wonderful coverage of the Reproductive Parity Act. Our favorites:
and Elaine’s op-ed in the Tacoma News Tribune
Our press conference to announce our exciting new legislation, the Reproductive Parity Act, was a huge success Sunday. Over 60 supporters, all four TV stations and The Stranger turned out to join us as we work to pass a bill protecting a woman’s right to choose. The bill works by making sure insurance plans sold in Washington that cover maternity care also cover abortion care. See King 5 coverage here, KIRO TV here, The Stranger coverage here, and a story about support from Jay Inslee, current Congressman and candidate for Washington governor.
It’s amazing that 2012 is just around the corner. Looking back at 2011, we have accomplished so much and faced so many struggles. The merge of the majority of our three state affiliates into one arm has been an exciting transition, as we can now participate in the electoral and advocacy work we do in Washington in Alaska and Idaho as well.
This year also saw the election of some true champions for women’s health that Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest endorsed, from Kelli Linville, the new mayor of Bellingham, to the re-election of Aaron Reardon, the Snohomish County Executive.
But the trying times cannot go without being mentioned. From the near government shutdown over threats to defund Planned Parenthood in the Spring to the recent decision by the Obama administration to overrule the FDA’s recommendation that Plan B be made available over the counter to everyone, this year is just another reminder that reproductive health rights cannot be taken for granted.
As 2012 rolls around in Washington, we are gearing up for the Jan. 9 session, and ready to work with our legislature to make sure the continued support for family planning funding is met, and that we prevent new cuts by raising revenue instead. No one can forsee exactly what the future will hold for women and families this year, but with the support of our activists, volunteers, donors and supporters, we know we can make it through.
Washington is gearing up to protect women and families from what looks to be another tough budget year. In Governor Chris Gregoire’s recent budget proposal, family planning services such as birth control and life-saving cancer screenings are proposed to be cut by $1.8 million for the biennium. That would be a huge loss to Washington families! As we head into Special Session on November 28 with that in mind, our field organizers and activists are taking action and contacting their legislators to let them know that we value access to reproductive health care. We’re urging them to look beyond cutting programs that matter to us while granting unfair tax breaks, and get creative raising revenue as a solution to the budget crisis. In early December, we’ll be rallying in Olympia to make that case!
Washington Lobby Day: Jan. 30