Proposed bill to protect WA reproductive health care providers from other states' penalties

A proposed bill aims to protect Washington reproductive health care providers from penalties imposed by other states.

Senate Bill 5260 and its companion House Bill 1286 will allow employers to recover damages if a judgment is entered against it in another state. The bill was filed by Sen. Karen Keiser (D-Des Moines) and Rep. Liz Berry (D-Seattle).

"After the U.S. Supreme Court’s radical decision to take away reproductive freedom, lawmakers and governors in other states are attempting to penalize employers who provide reproductive health care benefits," said Keiser. "While we can’t change those states’ laws, we can provide employers who are simply providing reproductive health benefits with a way to protect the company from retaliation by creating a path to seek redress."

Reproductive health care services that are legal in Washington are, in some instances, illegal in neighboring states like Idaho.

Nationally, the U.S. Supreme Court overturning of Roe v. Wade drew sharp criticism from many Washington leaders.

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"I am proud that access to reproductive care is a fundamental right in the State of Washington," said Berry, chair of the House Labor & Workplace Standards Committee. "This bill will rightly stand up against attempts by other states that target employers who provide critical reproductive health benefits all employees deserve."