After Legislative Session, WA Leads Nation in Protections for Abortion
Monday, May 8, 2023
Washington state lawmakers have passed some of the strongest protections for abortion access in the country.
With another session in the books, and nearly a year after the U.S. Supreme Court eroded abortion rights nationwide, lawmakers in Olympia passed bills such as House Bill 1155.
The legislation protects people from having their health data sold online and potentially used to send users advertisements that are anti-abortion or anti-gender-affirming care.
Washington State Director of the Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates Courtney Normand said it protects people's access to care.
"It's going to prevent apps and websites like health-tracking apps, search engines and other kinds of entities," said Normand, "from collecting people's data without their consent or awareness."
Normand said it also protects people from having their information shared by crisis pregnancy centers.
These businesses look like health centers but don't provide health care, so the information they collect isn't guarded under HIPAA. HB 1155 ensures this information can't be used without a person's consent.
House Bill 1469 is a reaction to states such as Idaho passing draconian laws to restrict abortion access.
Normand said this new law shields people who come to Washington state from out of state for an abortion or gender-affirming care.
"Let's say one of those home states decides to launch an investigation into someone who went and got care," said Normand. "If that were to occur, Washington state would not cooperate with that, thanks to this new law."
Normand said organizations such as hers have been gearing up for increased demand and the Legislature has recognized the strain this will create.
"They're by our side by providing funding," said Normand. "For example, grants that help us invest in our workforce or help us make sure that we have top-notch security systems, and also simply covering people's care for those who can't afford it."
get more stories like this via email
The coalition known as "Think Babies Michigan" has secured more than $36 million in funding to offer grants to child-care providers for infants and to…
Nearly 100 school board elections are coming up in Minnesota this fall, with some gaining attention because of the candidates who are running…
The so-called conservative "hostile takeover" of a small, progressive liberal arts college in Florida is seeing some resistance from former students …
High rent prices are draining the budgets of many Nebraska renters, who are paying between 30% and 50% of their income on rent. In some parts of the …
As the federal government nears a shutdown over a budget impasse in Congress, Wisconsin offices that help low-income individuals worry they'll have …
Indigenous leaders are traveling through the Northwest to highlight the plight of dwindling fish populations in the region. The All Our Relations …
Washington performs well in a new report scoring states' long-term care systems. The Evergreen State ranked second in AARP's Long-Term Services and …
A lack of housing options, mental-health challenges and a lack of connections and support have combined to drive an uptick in the number of foster …