REMARKS AS PREPARED
Reproductive Health Equity Act Ceremonial Signing (HB 3391)
September 18, 2017
Thank you Linda, for the introduction.
I want to extend my congratulations to all of you – as community members, partners and champions for this success.
Comprehensive reproductive health care for all Oregonians is a fundamental right — regardless of where you live, where you come from, or how you identify as a person. The Reproductive Health Equity Act delivers on that promise to all of Oregon’s families.
We would not be here without the voices of Oregonians across the state — urban and rural— who came together to advocate for this critical legislation. Let’s see a show of hands:
• Family Forward Oregon
• Oregon Health Equity Alliance
• Planned Parenthood
• Western States Center
I am so proud of the work of my colleagues and the Legislature to pass this critically important bill.
Thank you Representative Barker, Representative Williamson, Representative Fahey, Senator Devlin and Senator Monnes Anderson for your leadership.
And a special welcome to our newest Representative, Andrea Salinas.
In order to lead productive lives, all Oregonians must have the ability to control their bodies and make informed decisions about their health. This legislation secures these basic protections. With what’s happening at the federal level, this is more important than ever.
Thank you for rising to that challenge.
With HB 3391, you made it clear that we must not only protect access to preventive services, but that access must be affordable. Now, our friends and neighbors can achieve health equity, better outcomes and brighter futures.
We have made incredible progress. But we know that young women, women of color, and low-income Oregonians still face obstacles accessing the health care they need. This creates significant health disparities, particularly in our rural communities.
Even now, we face continued attempts to assert control over our lives and bodies. These threats aim to control our health decisions and to take us backward.
Together, we must continue to fight for access to affordable, effective, health care coverage.
Together, we must provide Oregonians with the care they need.
Together, we must continue to advocate for access to the tools that lead healthy, productive lives.
Together, we are building a legacy for Oregon’s families that are the foundation for the health and well-being of future generations.
I am so proud of you and of Oregon, my Oregon. Thank you.