End of the 2017 Utah Legislation Session
The 2017 Utah Legislative session ended last week—with no last minute surprises to report on!
Below is a summary of the legislative action that took place within Planned Parenthood’s priority areas:
Sex education: Thanks to Equality Utah and Senator Adams’ S.B. 196, Utah sex educators are no longer restricted when talking about homosexuality and can now incorporate inclusive lessons into classroom curriculum. Representative King’s bill to allow parents to opt into comprehensive sex education for their children did not make it out of committee again this year, but PP will join Smart Kids Utah in backing it again if (and hopefully when) it returns next year.
Reproductive health care: Representative King’s H.B. 57 that would have expanded Medicaid to include family planning for Utahns in the coverage gap, unfortunately, did not get a hearing. In fact, Medicaid was not only not expanded, we seem to have moved backward in providing health care access to all thanks to Congresses’ blatant, national attack on Planned Parenthood with their repealing and replacing of the Affordable Care Act (more on that later).
Abortion access: With the help of the ACLU, PP successfully defeated a ban on medication abortion in the Telehealth-focused H.B. 154 and amended out the language in Rep. Stratton’s H.B. 141 that would have required providers to tell people seeking a medication abortion that the procedure can be reversed if they change their mind halfway through the process (a statement not backed by medicine or science). In the end, access to safe and legal abortion held steady in Utah.
See more on all of the bills Planned Parenthood focused on during the session here.
Having our ever-growing group of supporters make phone calls, write emails, show up to hearings, ask questions in town hall meetings, and decorate their yards with “I Stand with Planned Parenthood” signs really did make a difference this year. PP felt the love and our representatives felt the pressure to nurture reproductive justice in our state.
So, what’s next?
Our work doesn’t end with the legislative session. After offering an insulting bargaining chip and saying he would fund Planned Parenthood only if they stopped providing abortions, Trump and his administration finally released their bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The bill would prevent Medicaid patients from using their coverage on preventative health care at Planned Parenthood—the preferred choice in health centers for many people. Now, we will fight on behalf of those Planned Parenthood Medicaid patients because they will be the ones most hurt if this bill is passed.
Planned Parenthood of Utah will continue to provide high-quality health and education services to all patients, forever operating under these mottos:
“Care. No matter what.” and “These doors stay open.”
Be at the ready for calls to action as we join together to fight this defunding.
If you’re up for some extra homework, we like this “People Power” Resistance Training that ACLU held on Saturday.
We also encourage you to share your Planned Parenthood story with us!