Oregon Governor Signs Law Protecting Right to Abortion

PORTLAND, Ore. (CN) — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown on Tuesday signed a law protecting the right to legal abortion in Oregon, even if Roe v. Wade or the Affordable Care Act were to be overturned.

The Reproductive Health Equity Act also requires insurers to cover reproductive care for undocumented immigrants and transgender people, and prevents insurers from making women pay for abortions if they have a high-cost deductible.

The Pro-Choice Coalition of Oregon estimates that the law will expand cancer screenings, contraception coverage and post-partum care for 900,000 Oregonians.

The bill extends reproductive health coverage to all people who become pregnant, regardless of their immigration status or gender identity. Medicaid excludes women based on citizenship status and does not cover reproductive health care for transgender people.

Oregon’s law also covers postpartum care and follow-up visits for an estimated 48,000 Oregonians who have health coverage for labor and delivery that drops immediately after birth.

The bill closes loopholes that allowed insurers to exclude an estimated 18,600 Oregon women from coverage for contraception. That benefit was supposed to be guaranteed under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, but insurers found loopholes in it.

Gov. Brown said the increased coverage will remain, even if the federal government overturns the Affordable Care Act.

The U.S. Senate has so far failed in its efforts to repeal Obamacare. President Donald Trump has vowed to end Obamacare subsidies to insurance companies. The Congressional Budget Office on Tuesday said that plan would send both healthcare premiums and the deficit skyrocketing.

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