Washington NOW testified Thursday February 22nd in support of SB 6102, a bill that requires that all employers that offer prescription insurance coverage also require contraceptive insurance coverage without cost-sharing.  This bill is intended to reverse the effects of the Federal “Hobby Lobby” decision by the Supreme Court in Washington State.

Here is the text of the testimony:

Good Morning Chair Jinkins and Members of the Committee.

My name is Jessie Turner, here today representing the Washington Chapter of the National Organization for Women, speaking in support of this important bill.  We want to thank the sponsor, Senator Ranker for bringing it forward.

Founded in 1966, 52 years ago, the National Organization for Women is dedicated to leading societal and policy change, promoting critical dialogue, eliminating discrimination and advancing the social, political and economic rights of all women and girls.

We promote policies and ideals which allow women to actively determine the conditions of their lives, their families, their choices, their careers and their future.

Make no mistake, equal access to contraceptive coverage – birth control – has a direct impact on the social, political and economic rights of all women in Washington.

This state has always been a leader on women’s issues, and many in this room responded quickly in 2012 to proactively ensure that comprehensive coverage of reproductive health care, including birth control, remained accessible to its citizens within plans provided through the newly created Health Benefit Exchange.

The bill before you is needed to ensure that access to birth control is guaranteed.

The 1966 NOW Statement of purpose declared: “the time has come to confront, with concrete action, the conditions that now prevent women from enjoying the equality of opportunity and freedom of choice which is their right, as individual Americans, and as human beings.”

It’s been 52 years and we are still debating.

Please pass this bill.

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