U.S. House to Vote on Defunding Planned Parenthood on Friday

While efforts to completely defund Planned Parenthood appeared to have stalled, many members of Congress haven’t given up the fight just yet.

After passing the House Budget Committee over a week ago, H.R. 3762, the “Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015” has been scheduled for a full vote on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

This Friday, October 23rd, Congress will vote on the bill that, if passed, would halt funding to Planned Parenthood for a year and repeal numerous unlawful provisions of ObamaCare.

According to LifeSite News, “House members plan to use a process known as reconciliation to stop most federal funds from flowing to Planned Parenthood,” adding that “[b]ills passed using reconciliation are not subject to filibuster, so they need only a simple majority to pass both Republican-controlled chambers of Congress.”  The Congressional Budget Office has also reported that passage of this bill would decrease budget deficits by approximately $130 billion over the next ten years.  You can read the bill in its entirety here.

This may be the best chance we’ve had to date at halting federal funding to Planned Parenthood.  Therefore, FPIW is urging Washingtonians to call their U.S. Representative, and all Washington representatives, to let them know how you feel about this bill.

To find out who your Congressman or Congresswoman is, click here.

Washington Congressmen and Congresswomen

Rep. Suzan K. DelBene (D – 01) 202-225-6311 https://delbene.house.gov/contact-me/email-me
Rep. Rick Larsen (D – 02) 202-225-2605 https://larsen.house.gov/contact-rick/email-rick
Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R – 03) 202-225-3536 http://herrerabeutler.house.gov/contact/
Rep. Dan Newhouse (R – 04) 202-225-5816 https://newhouse.house.gov/contact/email
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R – 05) 202-225-2006 http://mcmorris.house.gov/contact/
Rep. Derek Kilmer (D – 06) 202-225-5916 https://kilmer.house.gov/contact/email-me
Rep. Jim McDermott (D – 07)* 202-225-3106 https://forms.house.gov/mcdermott/webforms/new/contac …
Rep. Dave Reichert (R – 08) 202-225-7761 https://reichert.house.gov/contact-me
Rep. Adam Smith (D – 09) 202-225-8901 https://adamsmith.house.gov/contact
Representative Denny Heck (D – 10) 202-225-9740 https://dennyheck.house.gov/contact/email-me

* Rep. Jim McDermott sits on the House Budget Committee and voted “no” on 10/9 to refer this bill to the floor for a vote.  While unlikely to support the bill, we still encourage Washingtonians to call his office and share your thoughts on the bill with him.   

Again, the bill number is H.R. 3762, the “Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act of 2015,” and the sponsor is Rep. Tom Price (R-GA).

Session Summary: What You Accomplished

On Monday, the Washington State Legislature passed a budget and the Governor signed it last night. This will be the end of the Legislature’s third special session.

We want to thank you for all your help calling, emailing, and visiting your legislators! There were numerous bills that you helped make a difference on. With your help:

  • A bill to facilitate the use of telemedicine was changed to prevent it from being used for webcam abortions
  • Parental notification for abortions was moved through the legislature the furthest in years
  • The Abortion Insurance Mandate was killed for the fourth year in a row
  • Parents still have a choice on whether their children receive immunizations or not
  • A bill to ban therapy that would help minors with unwanted same-sex attraction was defeated

Listed are some highlights of what was in the budget and also a summary of the bills we worked on this past session.

YOUR TEXT

BUDGET

A two-year $38.2 billion operating budget was passed to avoid a government shut-down. The House passed it 90-8, while the Senate passed it 38-10.

Budget Highlight: Funding for Abortions and Contraceptives for Illegal Immigrants
The abortion industry attempted to increase revenues by expanding a state program called Take Charge to illegal immigrants. The reasoning is if there are less babies being born, the State can save money on illegal immigrants’ “prenatal, birth, and postpartum services and medical coverage for newborns.” Read more here. However, this proposal was defeated in final budget negotiations.

Budget Lowlight: Funding for Planned Parenthood
While Planned Parenthood was not successful in their legislative policy priorities, they will continue to receive more than $20 million each year from Washington taxpayers. Although Planned Parenthood does not explicitly receive money in the budget, “family planning” is the term the government uses to describe the area where they allocate our tax dollars to pay for abortion and contraception.

YOUR TEXT

 LEGISLATIVE ISSUES

Planned Parenthood will still receive money from the state, however, as noted above, they were not successful in their legislative policy priorities. Thanks to the help of citizens all over the state, pro-life legislation made significant progress than in previous years and bad bills were once again killed before making it to the Governor’s office. Here are some of our collective legislative successes:

PASSED: SB 5175: Telemedicine & Webcam Abortions
This bill dealt with telemedicine and was defeated in the Senate last year after being approved by the House because of concerns that it would make it possible for telemedicine to be used to remotely prescribe chemical abortions.  This is especially problematic in a state like Washington that does not require parental notification for abortions. However, the version signed by the Governor limited the application of the bill to “essential benefits” under the Affordable Care Act, which excludes abortions.

SB 5289: Parental Notification for Abortion
If passed, this bill would have required a 48 hour notice be given to parents before an abortion could be performed on a minor. This bill advanced in the legislative process the furthest is has in years! It received a hearing, was voted out of committee, and was moved all the way up to the Rules Committee.

 

Because of your help, these bad bills did NOT become law:

HB 1647: Abortion Insurance Mandate
This would have required all insurance providers to provide abortion insurance coverage. Pro-life business owners would have no choice but to provide abortion insurance for their employees. Every business, regardless of their religious convictions, would be required to subsidize abortions by paying for abortion coverage.

This is the fourth year that the legislature has tried to pass the Abortion Insurance Mandate and it was the fourth year it died before making it out of the House.

HB 2009: Immunization Exemptions
Current law allows children to be exempted from the immunization requirements for health reasons, religious reasons, or for the personal objection of the parents. This bill would have eliminated the personal objection exemption, which is cited in 70% of the cases in which exemptions are granted.

This bill was threatening to take away a parent’s right to chose what they thought was best for their children.  With support from parents across the state, this bill never made it out of committee.

SB 5870: Regarding Aversive Therapies
This bill banned licensed therapists from providing sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) for minors. It banned aversion therapy, which included ice baths and shock therapy (which we are all opposed to), but also talk therapy. Under this bill, minors would not have received help from therapists, even if the minor and the parents of the minor agreed that they wanted it, and it was in the best interest of the minor to get the therapy.

The Senate passed a version of this bill that would ban ice baths but still protect free speech. The House changed it to ban all forms of SOCE. Your taking action on this bill stopped the Senate from passing the version that limited free speech while protecting minors from abuse.

YOUR TEXT

These are just some of the bills that we worked on this session, but the success of them passing or failing to pass is credited to you. This progress could not have been possible without your participation and your prayers. Thank you for making a difference!

YOUR TEXT

WA House Proposes Saving Money by Eliminating Children of Illegal Immigrants

The Washington State Legislature is at a stand-off.

The State Senate, controlled by the Republican-lead Majority Coalition Caucus, believes the projected $1.9 billion in new revenue from existing taxes is sufficient to fund state operations.  However, the state House, controlled by the Democrats, has been seeking $1.5 billion in new taxes to fund the budget they favor.

In recent years, the Washington State Legislature has gone into extra sessions to pass a budget when there were multi-billion reductions in state revenue and when there were multi-billion increases.

Buried in the weeds of the current stalemate is a unique, yet offensive, House budget proposal that seeks to save money by reducing the number of babies born to illegal immigrants.

The proposal would make illegal immigrants eligible for a program called “Take Charge”, which funds contraceptives and abortion.  The program estimates that it will enroll 12,000 illegal immigrants who are not currently part of the program.

According to the House Budget, “Savings will be achieved by preventing unwanted pregnancies that generate state costs for prenatal, birth, and postpartum services and for medical coverage of newborns.  These women are eligible for state medical assistance upon pregnancy and their children are eligible for continued coverage.”

The proposal is troubling because the racial implications are unavoidable. “We hope there will be less of you.”

Family Planning Budget Item Edited (1)

The proposal also seems to contradict the spirit of the recently passed REAL Hope Act in which the Washington State legislature made government funding for higher education available to students who came to the country illegally.

Regardless of how we feel about public funding of education for non-citizens, we should be able to agree that, “Get an education, just don’t have any babies” is wrong.

This proposal is not part of the Senate budget and in light of the significant differences on the size of the budget, it is unknown how big of a sticking point this particular item is.

Still, as the country clamors for racial reconciliation in the wake of the tragic shooting in Charleston, the implication that leadership in the House of Representatives is hoping to reduce the number of babies with brown skin is beyond concerning.

Targeting the immigrant community with schemes for population control needs to be condemned in the strongest way.

Racial considerations aside, the strategy of saving money by reducing the number of people is certain to fail if implemented.  Yes, people have created lots of problems.  But people have always been the solution to our problems as well.

People are good.

Babies are really good.

Even if their parents aren’t rich, aren’t white, and weren’t born here.

The legislature has until the end of June to pass a budget before some government services will be shut down.  Call the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000 to share your thoughts with your legislators or you can email them by clicking here.

Always be respectful and courteous, but always be heard.

Therapy Ban Dies in Senate

Over the last several years, the Washington State legislature has been debating the issue of therapy dealing with same-sex attraction.

The issue was first introduced in 2013 when Sen. Marko Liias introduced a bill to study the issue of conversion therapy, or sexual orientation change effort therapy. The bill called for recommendations to be made to the legislature about the issue.

That bill did not pass. In fact, it wasn’t even voted on.

But the desire to study the issue quickly faded. After all, who needs to learn when you already know everything?

So, in 2014, they moved beyond their interest in talking to the therapists and clients who might be affected and introduced legislation to ban the therapy entirely.

Along with it came stories of children being subjected to shock treatments and thrown into ice baths in an effort to stop them from being gay. They tried to ignore the fact that coercion and abuse is already professional misconduct.

Moreover, no evidence was ever presented that this has happened in Washington in recent years. In fact, the Department of Health has no record or institutional knowledge of any complaint being filed against any therapist for coercive or abusive therapies attempting to stop a child from being gay.

Of course the fact that no complaint was filed doesn’t mean this kind of abuse has never happened. Not only would it be harmful to kids, it would be completely ineffective as therapy. So there is general agreement that this kind of abuse should be stopped.

However, there is not general agreement that the legislature should make it illegal for a client to receive the kind of help they desire.

So, after passing the House, the bill died in the Senate.

But the issue wasn’t dead.

In a good faith effort to bridge differences in order to stop child abuse, the Senate returned in 2015 to unanimously pass a bill (SB 5870) that would prohibit coercive and abusive aversive therapies like shock baths and ice therapies.

However, the bill did not ban talk therapy.

So, when the bill moved to the House, it was amended and returned to its 2014 form. While proponents talked about the desire to stop child abuse, what they really wanted to do was regulate conversations. Essentially they told clients, “We don’t think you should want to change in this way, so we’re going to make it illegal for you to get help doing so.”

The ban would apply even if the therapist is a pastor or church employee operating inside a church.

The bill was then sent back to the Senate where it was not scheduled to be brought up for a vote.

So on Tuesday, Sen. Marko Liias attempted a procedural move to bring the bill up for a vote, but his motion was voted down 27-22.

In response, Sen. Liias issued a statement that said, “I am appalled that the Republican majority killed legislation to protect kids from electric shock, ice baths, and other physical and emotional abuse, simply because they’re gay. We need to end conversion therapy once and for all.”

This is where the debate changed from an honest disagreement to dishonest politicking.

Sen. Liias was present when the Senate unanimously voted to support a bill that would protect kids from electric shock and ice baths. The implication that they support child abuse, when there is a clear record to the contrary, should be beneath the dignity of an elected official.

Sadly, however, it seems that is what every policy debate dealing with marriage, family, and human sexuality devolves into.

If you oppose efforts to make it illegal for a client to receive certain forms of therapy, then you support child abuse.

If you think it’s ideal for children to have both a mother and father, you hate gay people.

If you disagree with me, you’re a bad person.

While there is nothing wrong with debate or disagreement, what would help kids, regardless of their sexual orientation, is leadership that doesn’t dishonestly represent the actions and motives of people they disagree with in an effort to score political points.

Contact your Senators and thank them for their willingness to be thoughtful about these sensitive issues. You can call them through the legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000 or email them here.

It’s been a long session. They’re tired. They’ll appreciate someone saying thank you.

Encourage them to continue acknowledging the difference between actual abusive therapies that aren’t good for anyone and the kind of talk therapies that some people want and have been helped by.

After all, if a five year-old can get help to change a gender she’s uncomfortable with, shouldn’t a 17 year-old be able to get help to deal with sexual impulses he’s uncomfortable with?

Bills Advance

The House of Representatives passed two bills that they revisited this year after passing previous versions last year only to have them die in the Senate.

SB 5870 deals with aversion therapy.  Originally, the bill was an attempt to ban all forms of therapy that would help a minor deal with unwanted same-sex attraction.  It’s proponents claimed it was necessary in order to prevent children from being subjected to  shock therapy and ice baths.  However, the bill was amended by the Senate to in order to ban aversive therapies like ice baths and shock therapy without regulating the kind of talk therapy therapists were allowed to have with clients who requested it.  That version passed the Senate unanimously.

However, once it reached the House, it was once again amended to regulate talk therapy.  The House passed the bill 60-37.

Because changes were made to the version of the bill passed by the Senate, it will have to go back to the Senate to see if they will approve the chances.  They are not expected to.

SB 5715 was also passed by the House of Representatives.  This bill deals with telemedicine and was defeated in the Senate last year after being approved by the House because of concerns that it would make it possible for telemedicine to be used to remotely prescribe chemical abortions.  This is especially problematic in a state like Washington that does not require parental notification for abortions.

However, the version passed out of the Senate limited the application of the bill to “essential benefits” under the Affordable Care Act, which excludes abortions.

This bill passed the House 88-9 and will now go to the Governor’s desk for a signature.

Who Doesn’t Oppose Child Abuse?

“It’s child abuse,” they told us. “It must be stopped.”

It was the 2014 legislative session and we heard about kids being subjected to shock treatments or being put in ice baths and made to watch gay pornography in an effort to stop them from being gay.

Understandably, everyone was appalled.

These stories, we were told, are the reason it is so critical to support legislation that bans therapy to help a child deal with unwanted same-sex attraction.

Moments before the House of Representatives voted to pass the bill, Rep. Laurie Jinkins told an emotional story about her friend who was involuntarily institutionalized by her parents and subjected to shock treatments. “That is the kind of abuse that none of us wants to see for any child ever. And that is what this bill addresses.”

With that, the bill passed the House of Representatives and moved to the Senate.

After all, no one likes child abuse.

In the Senate, legislators starting paying just as much attention to the bill itself as the stories being told about child abuse.

And when they did, it became apparent that the bill did much more than protect kids from things like involuntary shock treatments.

In fact, it prohibited licensed therapists from using talk therapy to help a minor reduce or eliminate unwanted same-sex attraction. The ban even extended to church employees and pastors who happened to be licensed therapists.

Under the bill, church employees could have been professionally reprimanded for simply communicating their church’s understanding of human sexuality.

Furthermore, it would have taken choices away from clients and made it impossible for a minor to get help from a licensed therapist for unwanted same-sex attraction.

None of this had anything to do with stopping ice baths or shock therapy.

The bill failed to pass the Senate.

But at the beginning of this legislative session, the issue was reintroduced.

Built on the areas of agreement (let’s stop child abuse) while avoiding points of contention (let’s prohibit speech we dislike), the Senate advanced a narrower version of the bill (SB 5870) which prohibited aversive therapies like shock treatment and ice baths but did not attempt to restrict the kinds of talk therapy a client could request.

On March 11, it passed the Senate without opposition.

However, yesterday morning, when the House Health Care and Wellness Committee held a public hearing on the bill, something amazing happened.

The same people who spent the last year talking about the need to protect children from ice baths and shock therapy suddenly and strongly opposed a bill specifically designed for that purpose.

What was the problem?

The bill didn’t go far enough. “It must restrict talk therapy”, they said.

Last year, not a word was uttered about the need to ban talk therapy because everyone was so horrified by the stories of involuntary shock therapy.

All they talked about was the need to protect kids from child abuse.

But now that they have been given the chance to stop involuntary shock therapy without the ability to regulate conversations…suddenly shock therapy isn’t such a big deal.

There are two things we can learn from this recent development.

First, the advocates of this bill have always been mostly interested in prohibiting conversations they dislike, not stopping physical forms of child abuse everyone opposes.

The attempt to focus on stories of abuse was just part of the bait and switch. People suspected as much before, but now they have admitted it.

Second, and maybe more importantly, the fact that they are willing to oppose a bill to stop child abuse in the hopes that they can pass a bill to ban conversations illustrates the depth of their conviction about this issue.

From their perspective, telling kids same-sex attraction is not necessarily permanent is child abuse. The harm of involuntary shock therapy and the “harm” of a child being told change is possible are the same.

If this tactic is successful now, it won’t just be the therapists who are affected.

If it is “child abuse” for a therapist to tell a child that sexual desires can be controlled or changed, why wouldn’t it be child abuse for someone else to say the same thing?

The only limits are political. You don’t limit “child abuse” selectively. All you pastors, unlicensed counselors, friends and parents who believe homosexuality is wrong and sexual desires can change be warned. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

Nonsense, you say. The First Amendment protects my right to say whatever I want.

Arlene’s Flowers believed the First Amendment’s guarantee to the free exercise of religion protected her right to decide which events she celebrated in her business. And once upon a time it did. But now the courts say that the state’s “compelling interest” in stopping “discrimination” in public accommodations trumps the first amendment.

The state also has a compelling interest in stopping child abuse as well.

The First Amendment will be just a speed bump.

Unless we act to stand up for the therapists and the florists who are the current targets.

You can contact your legislators about this issue through the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000 or email them here.

Legislative Session Halftime Report

Yesterday, the 59th day of the legislative session, was the halfway point of the legislative process and the deadline to get bills out of the house of origin. Any bills that were not passed out of the chamber in which they were introduced are most likely dead for this year.

Here is a quick look at the bills that we have been tracking and where they stand.

 

Parental Notification for Abortion
SB 5289 (Likely Dead)

This bill, which would require parents to be notified before a minor receives an abortion, passed out of the Senate Law and Justice Committee and the Rules Committee. However, it was not brought to a vote on the Senate floor.

This was the furthest parental notification has advanced in years, thanks to the dedicated efforts of Sen. Mike Padden who sponsored the bill and many of you who contacted your legislators about this issue.

Despite strong public support for parental notification, only twenty-four senators indicated their willingness to support it.  That total included twenty two Republicans and two Democrats, Sen. Jim Hargrove and Sen. Tim Sheldon, that latter caucuses with the Republicans. Twenty-five votes are necessary to pass a bill in the Senate. Republican Senators Andy Hill, Joe Fain, and Steve Litzow either opposed or were unwilling to support the bill.

 

Abortion Insurance Mandate
HB 1647 (Passed House, moved to Senate)

This bill was a slightly modified version of a bill that has passed the House but has been defeated in the Senate each of the last three years. Like the other bills, it sought to require every private insurance policy in Washington State to cover abortion.

This bill passed out of the House Health Care and Wellness Committee and passed the House on party lines with the exceptions of Republican Rep. Chad Magendanz, who voted in favor and Democrat Rep. Chris Hurst, who voted against it.

The bill is once again expected to die in the Senate.

 

Sexual Orientation Change Therapy
SB 5870, HB 1972 (Passed the Senate, moved to House)

These bills initially attempted to make it professional misconduct for a therapist to help a minor with unwanted same-sex attraction. While House bill 1972 never advanced, Senate bill 5870 was amended in committee to prohibit only aversive therapies like ice baths and shock therapies for minors in all circumstances.

The bill no longer attempts to regulate speech between therapists and patients, nor does it any longer seek to prevent clients from receiving the kind of therapy they want. The behavior it purports to prohibit is probably already prohibited by professional rules, criminal law, or both.

However, by passing this bill, it eliminates the argument that it is necessary to ban all forms of therapy to help kids with unwanted same-sex attraction in an attempt to protect kids from aversive therapies.

With these changes, SB 5870 passed the Senate without opposition and is expected to pass the House as well.

 

Eliminating Immunization Exemptions
HB 2009 (Likely Dead)

Current law allows children to be exempted from the immunization requirements for health reasons, religious reasons, or for the personal objection of the parents. This bill would have eliminated the personal objection exemption, which is cited in seventy percent of the cases in which exemptions are granted.

The bill passed the House Health Care and Wellness Committee, but was not brought up for a vote before the deadline.

 

Telemedicine/Webcam Abortions
SB 5175 (Passed the Senate, moves to the House)

This bill would facilitate payment for medicine provided remotely through webcam consultations. While generally uncontroversial in principle, prior versions of the bill would have made it possible for the abortion industry to use this technology to prescribe chemical abortions remotely. This would be particularly problematic  in Washington State which lacks a parental notification requirement. There was concern that children would be receiving abortion drugs without their parents awareness while the medical professionals were hundreds of miles away.

The bill was amended in committee so that reimbursement for telemedicine is available only for essential benefits under the Affordable Care Act, which does not include abortions.

With that change, the bill passed the Senate without opposition and is expected to pass the House.

 

Requiring Informed Consent for Assisted Suicide
SB 5919 (Passed Senate, moves to the House)

This bill would require that a patient be advised of all treatment options and possibilities for cure before being given a prescription for drugs intended to end their life.

The surprisingly controversial measure passed the Senate 34-14 and now moves to the House for a vote.

 

Making it Easier for Religious Objectors to Opt-Out of Unions
SB 5552 (Likely Dead)

This bill would make it easier for those who are religious objectors to union membership to opt out of funding causes they disagree. It would remove the unions power to direct which charities receive the money that would otherwise go to the union in the form of union dues.

The bill passed the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee but was not brought up for consideration on the Senate floor.

 

Prohibiting Wrongful Life Lawsuits
SB 5747 (Likely Dead)

This bill would eliminate lawsuits by parents who claim they were injured by the failure to diagnose a birth defect that led to the birth of a child they otherwise would have aborted.

This bill had a hearing in the Senate Law and Justice committee but did not make it out of committee.

 

Other Bills of Note

Three other bills we were tracking did not have a hearing and are now considered to be dead bills. They are:

  1. A bill to require every employer to provide objectionable contraceptives in their employee health plans (SB 5026, HB 1502)
  2. A bill that would give grandparents the right to petition the court for visitation with their grandchildren over the objection of the parents (SB 5005)
  3. A bill that would clarify that life begins at conception (HB 1687)

Summary

While it is unfortunate that parental notification was not passed by the Senate, it did advance further than it has in more than a decade. Efforts to mandate abortion insurance, ban therapy that helps minors with unwanted same-sex attraction, facilitate webcam abortions, and taking away parental control of the decision to immunize have been stopped.

Thousands of people from every corner of Washington State have contributed to the results so far. Your participation in the process makes a tremendous difference.

That being said, nothing in the legislature is final until the legislators go home. Bills have been designated as “likely dead” because any legislative issue can be resurrected at any time if the political will exists. During the second half of the session, bills that failed to pass on their own are often proposed as amendments to other bills dealing with the same or similar issue.

Whether you are supporting or opposing an idea, continue to communicate your thoughts with your legislators by emailing them and calling them at the legislative hotline at 1-800-562-6000.

For more details on all of these bills click here.

Remember, the legislature is the thermometer, the people are the thermostat. If you don’t like the temperature, change it.

Thank you for making a difference.

House Hears Bill Making It Harder to be Exempted from Vaccines

This morning in the Washington State legislature, the House Health Care and Wellness Committee held a hearing on legislation (HB 2009) that would make it more difficult for parents to exempt their children from immunization requirements.

Currently, Washington State requires children to receive certain immunizations unless there are health reasons not to, the parents have a personal or philosophical objection to the immunizations, or they have a religious objection to immunizations.

 This bill would remove the “personal or philosophical objection” requirement.

For parents, this issue is very personal.

Rep. June Robinson, the prime sponsor of the bill, stated that she introduced the bill in response to the measles outbreak around the country. She says that a lot of diseases that were once eradicated are now coming back, largely due to the fact that kids are not receiving their immunization.

Ziggy Siegfried of Spokane questioned the seriousness of the outbreak. “Over the weekend I read that there were four cases of measles statewide. It is hard for me to be concerned about four cases of measles because when I was six years-old, back in the 60’s, there were five cases of measles in my living room.”

These mom’s told the Senate that they should be the ones to decide what medical treatment their children receive.

Proponents of the legislation, including former Secretary of State Ralph Munro and several public health advocacy groups, noted that 4.6% of children in Washington have been exempted out of the vaccine requirement, which is higher than most states. Seventy percent of those who have opted out have cited “personal objection” as the reason for doing so.

They argued that low rates of vaccinations, including some schools in which 30-40% of students have not received all the required vaccinations, are causing communities to lose their community immunity and therefore are risking the reoccurrence of diseases previously eradicated.

Opponents of the legislation argued that it is the parents right to decline or consent to health care provided to their children. They cited legal immunity given to pharmaceuticals and the fact that the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program has paid out more than $3 Billion in damages from immunizations as evidence that there are risks for vaccines. They argued that parents should be the ones to decide if the benefits outweigh the risks for their child.

This dad showed up at 5:40 am so he could testify in defense of his parental rights.

Proponents claimed that the low immunization rate was often due to a lack of information. Several parent’s told the committee that the reason they are concerned about vaccinations is not because they are uninformed but because they are very informed and have concluded that the risk to their children outweigh the benefits.

You can watch the entire public hearing on HB 2009 by clicking here. The hearing on the immunization bill begins at the 41:00 minute mark.

This House Health Care and Wellness Committee has until Friday to take action on this bill. The members of the committee are listed below. If the bill is supported by a majority of the committee it would then move to the full House for consideration before moving to the Senate.

Rep. Eileen Cody (Chair)  360-786-7978
Rep. Marcus Riccelli   360-786-7888
Rep. Joe Schmick   360-7844
Rep. Paul Harris   360-7867976
Rep. Michelle Caldier   360-786-7802
Rep. Judy Clibborn   360-786-7926
Rep. Richard DeBolt   360-786-7896
Rep. Laurie Jinkins   360-786-7930
Rep. Norm Johnson   360-786-7810
Rep. Jim Moeller   360-786-7872
Rep. June Robinson (Prime Sponsor)  360-786-7864
Rep. Jay Rodne   360-786-7852
Rep. Shelly Short   360-786-7908
Rep. Steve Tharinger   360-786-7904
Rep. Kevin Van De Wege   360-786-7916

You are encouraged to contact your representatives and share your thoughts on this bill through the legislative hotline at 1-800-562-6000.

You can also email them by clicking here.

Mobilization Monday Update

ABORTION  INSURANCE  MANDATE
SB 5574 & HB 1647

House Bill 1647 – Concerning health plan coverage of reproductive health care.
Prime Sponsor: Representative Eileen Cody, 34th LD
House Committee: Health Care & Wellness

Senate Bill 5574 – Companion Bill
Prime Sponsor: Senator Steve Hobbs, 44th LD
Senate Committee: Health Care 

SUMMARY: It requires every insurance policy to cover every form of contraception, abortion, and sterilization and forbids the policy from charging a deductible or copay. Read the companion bill.

 

STATUS

SB 5574: 1/26/15, referred to Senate Health Care Committee on 1/26/15. No further movement, as of 2/9/15.

HB 1647: Scheduled for PUBLIC HEARING in the House Committee on Health Care & Wellness at 8:00 AM,TOMORROW, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2015.

TOMORROW
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 10
Hearing is 8:00 AM.
Arrive by 7:00 AM.
John L. O’Brien Building
Hearing Room A

 

ACTION: SHOW UP

  1. Attend House Legislative Committee on Health Care & Wellness Public Hearing on HB 1647
  2. CALL  1 (800) 562-6000     Let ALL your legislators know what your thoughts are concerning HB 1647 and SB 5574 because these bills violate your right to conscience and threaten your religious freedoms.
  3. COMMENT ON THE BILL: HB 1647   Each bill page has a “Comment on the bill” link you can use to send comments to your legislators.
  4. WATCH THE HEARING LIVE ON TVW.ORG
RIGHTS  TO  RELIGIOUS  OBJECTORS
SB 5552 & HB 1968

Senate Bill 5552 – Accommodating the civil rights of religious objectors to mandatory payments to labor organizations.
Prime Sponsor: Senator Mike Padden, 4th LD
Senate Committee: Commerce & Labor, Rules  

House Bill 1968 – Companion Bill
Prime Sponsor: Representative Matt Shea, 4th LD 
House Committee: Labor

 

SUMMARY: Accommodating the civil rights of religious objectors to mandatory payments to labor organizations. Read the companion bill.

 

STATUS

SB 5552: 2/5/15, passed to Senate Rules Committee for Second Reading.

HB 1968: 2/4/15, First reading, referred to House Labor Committee.

ACTION:

  1. Call 1(800) 562-600   Let ALL your legislators know what your thoughts are concerning SB 5552 & HB 1968 because religious objectors should not be forced to join labor organizations that violate their values and conscience.
TELEMEDICINE  COVERAGE
SB 5175 & HB 1403

Senate Bill 5175 – Regarding Telemedicine.
Prime Sponsors: Senator Randi Becker, 2nd LD
Senate Committees: Health Care, Rules  

House Bill 1403 – Companion Bill
Prime Sponsor: Representative Steve Bergquist, 11th LD
House Committee: Health Care & Wellness, Rules

 

AMENDED* SUMMARY: Telemedicine is generally seen as an advance in health care because it makes it easier for people who live in rural areas to access health care.

*The language in SB 5175 and HB 1403 bills have been modified to not allow webcam chemical abortions. Read the companion bills.

 

STATUS

SB 5175: 2/6/15, passed to Senate Rules for Second Reading (?).
2/5/15, executive action taken in the Senate Committee on Health Care.

HB 1403: 2/5/15, referred to House Rules Committee.
2/3/15, executive action taken in the House Health Care & Wellness Committee.

 

ACTION:

  1. Call 1(800) 562-6000  Let ALL your legislators know what your thoughts are concerning HB 1403 & SB 5175, regarding telemedicine.
INTERNET  CRIMES  AGAINST  CHILDREN
SB 5215

Senate Bill 5215 – Establishing the Washington Internet crimes against children account. 
Prime Sponsor: Senator Pam Roach, 30th LD
Senate Committee: Senate Law & Justice

SUMMARY: Creates the Washington internet crimes against children account and requires expenditures from the account to be used exclusively by the Washington internet crimes against children task force and its affiliate agencies. Read the bill.

 

STATUS: 2/5/15 – Public hearing held in the Senate Committee on Law & Justice. No further movement, as of 2/9/15.

 

ACTION:

  1. Call 1(800) 562-6000  Let ALL your legislators know what your thoughts are concerning SB 5215.
SEXUAL  ORIENTATION  CHANGE  EFFORT
HB 1972 and SB 5870

House Bill 1972 – Restricting the practice of sexual orientation change efforts. 
Prime Sponsor: Representative Laurie Jinkins, 27th LD
House Committee: Health Care & Wellness

Senate Bill 5870 – Prohibiting the use of aversion therapy in the treatment of minors. 
Prime Sponsor: Senator Marko Liias, 21st LD 
Senate Committee: Health Care

 

SUMMARY: These bills would ban licensed therapists from providing sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE) for minors. Under these bills, minors can not receive help from the therapist, even if the minor and the parents of the minor agreed that they wanted it, and it was in the best interest of the minor to get the therapy. Read the bills: SB 5870 & HB 1972.

 

STATUS

HB 1972 – 2/4/15 – Referred to House Health Care & Wellness Committee.

SB 5870 – 2/6/15 – Referred to Senate Committee on Heath Care.

 

ACTION:

  1. Call 1(800) 562-600  Let ALL your legislators know what your thoughts are concerning HB 1972 & SB 5870, .
  2. Remain on standby and be prepared to take further action, including SHOWING UP on short notice in the event that a Senate or House hearing is scheduled for HB 1972 and/or SB 5870.
PARENTAL  NOTIFICATION  FOR  ABORTIONS
SB 5289 & HB 1493

Senate Bill 5289 – Requiring notification to parents or guardians in cases of abortion. 
Prime Sponsor: Senator Mike Padden, 4th LD
Senate Committee: Law & Justice

House Bill 1493 – Establishing parental notification requirements for abortion. 
Prime Sponsor: Representative Matt Shea, 4th LD
House Committee: Health Care & Wellness

 

SUMMARY: Protects minors against their own immaturity by also protecting the constitutional rights of parents to rear and make decisions for their children who are members of their household. Read the bills: SB 5289 & HB 1493.

CONSOLIDATED BILL STATUS: WATCHING

No further movement, as of 2/2/15

EMPLOYER  CONTRACEPTIVE  MANDATE
SB 5026 & HB 1502

Senate Bill 5026 – Employee Reproductive Choice Act
Prime Sponsor: Senator Jamie Pedersen, 43rd LD
Senate Committee: Law & Justice 

House Bill 1502 –  Companion Bill
Prime Sponsor: Representative Laurie Jenkins, 27th LD
House Committee: Judiciary

 SUMMARY: Would require employers in Washington State who the Supreme Court said could not be forced by the federal government to be forced to pay for contraceptives that violate their beliefs, to be forced by the Washington State government to pay for contraceptives that violate their beliefs. Read the companion bill.

PROHIBITS  ‘WRONGFUL  BIRTH’  AWARDS
SB 5747

Senate Bill 5747 – Prohibiting actions for wrongful life and wrongful birth, and expanding the beneficiaries in an action for wrongful death.
Prime Sponsor: Senator Mike Padden, 4th LD
Senate Committee: Senate Law & Justice

SUMMARY: Prohibits a person from maintaining a civil cause of action or from receiving an award of damages for wrongful life or wrongful birth based on the claim that, but for an act or omission of another person, the person would not or should not have been born. Expands the list of beneficiaries in wrongful death actions. Read the bill.

THIRD – PARTY  (GRANDPARENT)  VISITATION
SB 5005

Senate Bill 5005 – Concerning Grandparent Visitation Rights.
Prime Sponsor: Senator Jan Angel, 26th LD

Committee: Senate Law & Justice Committee

SUMMARY: This bill would allow grandparents to petition the courts for visitation of children against the will of a fit parent. Read the bill.

WASHINGTON  STATE  LIFE  AT CONCEPTION  ACT
HB 1687

House Bill 1687 – Declaring that the right to life begins at the moment the individual comes into being. 
Prime Sponsor: Representative Elizabeth Scott, 39th LD
House Committee: Health Care & Wellness

SUMMARY: This bill affirms the right to life, as recognized in the Declaration of Independence and guaranteed by the Constitutions of the United States and Washington State, and is thereby vested in each human being beginning at the moment at which an individual comes into being. Read the bill.

Abortion Insurance Mandate Hearing Set for Tuesday

A bill to force every private insurance policy to cover abortion, sterilization, and controversial contraceptives (HB 1647) has been scheduled for a public hearing on Tuesday, February 10th, at 8 am in the House Health Care Committee.

 This bill essentially makes it illegal to buy or sell a private insurance policy that doesn’t cover abortion.

Many people oppose abortion generally. Many more do not want to pay for someone else’s abortion regardless of how they feel about the right to have one.

But this bill ignores the strong differences of opinion on this divisive issue and forces everyone to become a financial partner with the abortion industry.

This bill is primarily about forcing employers to pay for their employees’ abortions.

Proponents of the bill claim that because a woman has the right to an abortion, she should never be in a situation where she wants an abortion but can’t pay for it.  In their mind, forcing employers to do things they believe are immoral is the solution.

If we apply this logic to any other situation in life, it doesn’t pass the straight face test.

I have the right to transportation and rifles, but I do not have the right to force someone else to buy me a car or rifle if I find myself short of cash.

While the bill primarily targets employers, it also requires that every individual or family insurance policy will also be required to pay for abortion regardless of how the individual or family feels about the issue.

Proponents of the bill claim that is “discriminatory” to have some insurance policies that don’t cover abortions while other policies do.

In a sense, they’re right.

It is discriminatory in exactly the same way my order of mahi mahi discriminated against the beef, chicken, and vegetarian options that were also on the menu.

The power to choose is a recognition of each persons’ inherent dignity, but once you call it “discrimination” it gives politicians license to micro-manage.

And the moment you dare point out that it’s the same thing, they’ll tell you you’re hurting their feelings and end the conversation.

Your human dignity ends where my feelings start.

If the leftists in the legislature get their way, we will soon be in a world where a florist must celebrate same-sex weddings and must pay for her employee’s abortions as a condition of being in business.

In their mind, this is all part of ending discrimination.

Seriously.

I bet they would have passed the ball with one-yard to go too.

This bill may not make sense, but in the legislative arena, it isn’t the best ideas that become law, it is the ideas with the most political support.

If you like an idea, your voice has to be louder and clearer than those who oppose it.

The best way to make a statement is to show up at the hearing on Tuesday morning. Call ahead and schedule an appointment with your legislators so you’ll have a chance to meet with them in person. Personal communication is the best communication.

If you can’t make it, call your legislators through thelegislative hotline at 1-800-562-6000 or email them to share your thoughts. Then encourage your friends to do the same.

It’s shockingly easy, and if we all do our little part, it makes a big difference for the world we leave behind.

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