In a brilliantly coordinated effort, lawmakers across 18 states introduced legislation on Wednesday the would work to counteract the executive orders that President Trump has instituted during his first week in office.
Representatives in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin banded together to propose laws that would increase access to emergency contraception for survivors of sexual assault, reaffirm that abortion is a healthcare service, warranting public and private insurance coverage, and prevent companies from taking action against employees based on their reproductive healthcare choices, decisions that they should be allowed to make regardless of their employers’ religious or personal beliefs.
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It’s crucial to note that these are not all deep blue states, in fact Trump won many of them on Election Day. But their actions prove that healthcare can and should be a non-partisan issue. The Public Leadership Institute (PLI), a non-partisan think tank, worked with lawmakers to develop these bills based on existent models and tailored to the individual needs of their states. PLI asserts that the success of this effort is consistent with data that shows Americans aren’t as polarized on issues of reproductive access as the obsessions of the Republican-led Congress suggest. A recent poll revealed that close to 60 percent of Americans believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases. And a Gallup poll from May 2016 went further, finding that 79 percent of Americans believe the procedure should be legal in all or at least certain circumstances. With Trump in the White House, it’s more critical than ever that the men and women we elect to represent us vote on these numbers, instead of on their own too often politically motivated calculations.