PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN)– Oregon lawmakers are looking to expand gender-affirming healthcare as well as more robust protections for abortion providers.
A hearing was held in Salem on Monday for House Bill 2002, which lawmakers say would bridge gaps in healthcare access for transgender people and those seeking abortions.
The bill would make it a crime for anyone to interfere with a healthcare facility, punishable by up to a year in prison and a $6,200 fine.
Gender-affirming care is physical or mental healthcare to support someone’s gender identity when it’s different from what they were assigned at birth. It includes care such as counseling, hormone therapy, surgery and other medical procedures.
Oregon was one of the first states to require Medicaid to cover gender-affirming care and has some of the strongest laws in the nation protecting a woman’s right to an abortion. HB 2002 expands access to that care, along with expanding abortion services to more parts of the state.
Furthermore, it provides legal protections to abortion counselors and providers now that Roe v Wade has been overturned.
The measure is expected to win committee approval and head to the house floor for a vote.
Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum has already put her support behind House Bill 2002, which comes at a time when several other states are passing laws to block access to abortion and gender-affirming care.
Oregon is currently in a multi-state legal battle, looking to overturn a north Texas lawsuit that would strip FDA approval from a common abortion drug.
“What it would do if we get our way is it would allow a judge to declare that some of the restrictions that are known as REMs on mifepristone are unnecessary,” said Rosenblum.
No ruling has been made in the Texas abortion pill lawsuit yet.
This is a developing story.