by WREN Staff on Jul 21, 2022
Health and Education
WREN aims to be a collective force in identifying and reducing disparities that lead to low health and education performance indicators statewide. WREN recognizes that the health and education of women and children is crucial in order to ensure statewide prosperity. We advocate for policies that lower the barriers that families, predominantly women and mothers, face when accessing services, resources, and rights. Reproductive health is a strong focus of our advocacy and education efforts, and is supported through the Be the Voice campaign.
Education is also critical to enhancing the opportunities that women and girls have in our state. WREN advocates for affordable access to high-quality education, from early childhood development through post-secondary education, training, and certifications. We also advocate for girls’ and young women’s exposure and training to non-traditional career opportunities. We work to improve the quality and accessibility of information that will enable young people to delay pregnancy, protect their health, and increase their opportunities.
Pharmacy Access Act (S.628)
This bill would authorize pharmacists to prescribe contraceptives, which can make contraceptive care more accessible and affordable by eliminating the need for a separate visit to a health care provider to obtain a prescription. Expanding pharmacists’ scope of practice to include prescribing birth control helps alleviate many of the obstacles to finding and seeing a doctor that have been exacerbated by the pandemic.
Paid Family Leave for State Employees (H. 3560 and S.11)
This bill would provide state employees up to 6 weeks of paid family leave for the birth or adoption of a child, or up to 2 weeks for placement of a foster child. Paid family leave is crucial to supporting working families’ economic security and promoting gender equity in workplaces. No one should have to risk their job or face financial loss when they need to welcome a new child.
PASSED-End School Lunch Debt Collection (H. 3006)
H. 3006 would ban the use of debt collectors to collect debts for school lunch or breakfast accounts and prevent entities from assessing or collecting any interest, fees, or additional charges for outstanding debts.
Menstrual Equity (H.3747 & S.574)
The Menstrual Equity bills, H.3747 and S.574, would exempt menstrual hygiene products from sales tax. The removal of the tax on period products would alleviate the additional monthly expense of paying a luxury tax on a necessary medical product.
Dignity in Pregnancy and Childbirth Act (H.3225)
H.3225 would create an intentional study committee dedicated to addressing the disparities in Black maternal health that has buy-in from the legislative leaders in our state.
Abortion Ban (Trigger Ban with Personhood Language) S.988 and S.1127
These bills use language referring to a fertilized egg as a person, meaning that a fertilized egg has all the same rights and protections as a living, breathing human. They are both trigger bans, meaning they will only go into effect if Roe V. Wade is overturned or significantly modified.
Medication Abortion Misinformation (S.907 and H.4568)
This bill would force providers to disclose medically inaccurate information about medication abortion. It would require doctors to tell abortion patients who receive a medication abortion that they can reverse the medication they’ve taken.
Bills Targeting Transgender Athletes (H.4608,H.4153, S.531, and H.3477)
Governor Henry McMaster signed H.4608, an anti-transgender bill that restricts transgender students from participating in school sports in middle school, high school, and college.