Issues & Legislation
Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon works to pass laws that advance access to the full range of reproductive healthcare services and information including comprehensive sex education. From town halls to the State Capitol, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon ensures that women and men can access quality, affordable reproductive health care.
- Defending Reproductive Freedom: Lead the fight to defeat opposition ballot measures, legislation and policies.
- Expanding Birth Control Access: Protect funding for CCare, Oregon’s reproductive healthcare program for low-income women.
- Closing Healthcare Disparities: Address affordability and access to abortion. Support legislative and policy initiatives that address disparities in health care for people of color, LGBT people and other minority communities.
- Giving Women a Fair Shot: Work as a coalition partner to support a progressive agenda that will raise the minimum wage, promote retirement security and guarantee paid sick days.
Thanks to the skill of our passionate citizen activists, our elected allies and our professional lobbyist, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon has defeated more than 40 anti-women’s health pieces of legislation since 1993. In addition, we have beat back 5 anti-women’s health ballot measures, including Parental Notification in 2006. We have worked tirelessly to protect the full range of reproductive options. Oregon remains the only state left with no restrictions on access to safe, legal abortion.
In addition, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon has worked to advance access to women’s health services and information as well as comprehensive sex education. Read below to learn more about the health achievements Planned Parenthood has been a part of in Oregon.
- 12-Month Birth Control Access: Passed landmark legislation making Oregon the first state in the nation to guarantee 12-month birth control access. Dispensing a one-year supply of birth control is associated with a 30 percent reduction in the odds of conceiving an unplanned pregnancy compared with dispensing for 30 or 90 days. It will particularly help women without access to transportation and rural Oregonians who often have long distances to travel.
- Patient Privacy Protection: Passed a law that allows patients to ask insurance carriers to send communications directly to the patient receiving services, not the primary policyholder. This means people now can access the health care they need without fear that someone else may be sent the details of their private medical visit.
- Successful 2014 Election Cycle: Our 6-person staff filled 572 volunteer shifts, recruited 9 interns and contacted nearly 25,000 voters on the phone. As a result, we were successful in 89% of our endorsed races, which represented an improvement over our 2012 winning record! We also unseated 2 politicians who were longtime allies of Oregon Right to Life.
- Ballot Measures: We kept a dangerous constitutional amendment off the November ballot that would have prohibited access to medically necessary abortion coverage for low-income women – a major victory for Oregon families. We also called voters in Albuquerque, N.M., to educate them about the dangerous consequences of a 20-week abortion ban, which could have become the nation’s first municipal-level restriction on reproductive rights. (The ballot measure ultimately failed by a 55-45 margin.)
- Proactive Legislation: In partnership with the Oregon Women’s Health and Wellness Alliance, PPAO successfully passed a bill to promote the early detection of breast cancer by requiring doctors to notify patients of dense breast tissue indicated by a mammogram. We also held a hearing on a consumer-rights bill to require Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs) to post signs that clearly disclose the services provided while also requiring them to keep client files and medical/personal information confidential.
- Affordable Care Act: Launched a statewide outreach program to help uninsured Oregonians get the information they need to enroll. We knocked on thousands of doors in 8 counties, made more than 5,000 calls and started talking with patients in our health centers about their insurance options and voter registration.
- Successful 2012 Election Cycle: Our 5-person staff filled 440 volunteer shifts, recruited 14 interns and contacted nearly 30,000 voters on the phone. As a result, we won 100% of our targeted races, regaining a pro-women’s health majority in the Oregon Legislature – and we unseated four politicians who were rising stars with Oregon Right to Life. PPAO’s former board chair, State Representative Jennifer Williamson, is among the strong allies who will now stand with us in Salem.
- Ballot Measures: We kept a dangerous constitutional amendment off the November ballot that would have prohibited access to medically necessary abortion coverage for low-income women – a major victory for Oregon families. We also dispatched our expert Field Staff to North Dakota, where a “religious liberty” amendment threatened women’s reproductive health, especially emergency care. With our help, voters defeated Measure 3 by a stunning 64-36 margin!
- Successful 2010 Election Cycle: Offered endorsement opportunities in every legislative race statewide for the first time, ran a viral campaign to distribute a comprehensive voters guide, and made more than 250,000 contacts with pro-choice voters through direct mail, phone conversations, and door-to-door canvassing, helping secure the election of Gov. John Kitzhaber as well as 40 of 60 endorsed seats in the state Legislature.
- Birth Control Matters: Passed bipartisan resolution in both chambers of the Oregon Legislature to send an official statement to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, urging birth control coverage with no co-pays in the new health care reform plan.
- Comprehensive Sex Ed: Updates Oregon law to ensure all students receive age-appropriate, medically accurate sexuality instruction.
- Preventative Prescriptions for Partners: Allows patients diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection (STI) to leave the doctor’s office with medication for themselves as well as their partner. Significantly helps decrease re-infection rates.
- HPV Vaccine Coverage: Ensures that all Oregon insurance companies provide coverage for the HPV vaccine which works to prevent the cervical cancer epidemic.
- Access to Birth Control Act: Landmark legislation passed after over a decade of work. Requires all Oregon prescription drug plans to cover birth control and ensures that survivors of rape and incest are offered emergency contraception in all Oregon emergency rooms.
- Permanent Coverage for Vital Women’s Health Services: Coverage for annual exams, PAPs, mammography cancer screenings and pregnancy becomes a permanent requirement of Oregon insurance providers.
- Coverage for Clinical Breast Exams: Oregon becomes the 2nd state in the country to require insurance providers to cover life-saving breast exams.
- Emergency Contraception (EC) in Oregon State’s Sexual Assault Exams: Funding created to provide every sexual assault victim in Oregon a medical exam regardless of their ability to pay. This service includes the option to access to EC.
- Family Planning Coverage for Low-Income Women: Oregon approved for the Family Planning Expansion Program. This Medicaid waiver provides free or low-cost access to birth control for Oregon women who need it the most.
- Coverage for Vital Women’s Health Services: Oregon insurance providers required to cover annual exams, PAP and mammography cancer screenings with a clause that this bill must be renewed every six years.
- Protection for Access to Clinics: Oregon becomes the 7th state to establish felony charges for blocking access to medical facilities.
- Comprehensive Sex Ed: Requires Oregon schools to provide a comprehensive curriculum if they choose to teach sexuality education.
Every year, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon presents the Marilyn Epstein Pro-Choice Champion Award to recognize leaders who go above and beyond in advocating for reproductive health care. We are proud to announce that this year’s honorees are the Chief Sponsors of the Reproductive Health Equity Act: House Majority Leader Jennifer Williamson, Representatives Jeff Barker and Julie Fahey and Senators Laurie Monnes Anderson and Richard Devlin.
PRO-CHOICE COALITION OF OREGON PRESS RELEASE
SALEM, Ore., April 14, 2017 - The Oregon House Healthcare Committee today passed landmark legislation to ensure reproductive health equity across the state.
The Reproductive Health Equity Act (House Bill 3391) removes financial barriers and ensures that every Oregonian is empowered to make their own decisions about whether and when to become a parent. Limitations on reproductive health services can have profoundly harmful effects on public health and on an individual person's life opportunities ...
Every woman in Oregon should be able to make decisions about whether and when to be a parent based on what’s best for her.
Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon is working hard to ensure that health insurance — whether paid for by individuals, employers or government funds — covers the full range of reproductive health services: preconception care, contraception, abortion, prenatal care, childbirth and postpartum care.