“Domestic violence is about power and control, and many abusers choose to weaponize a partner’s bodily autonomy and reproductive choices as tools of violence. Reproductive coercion, a form of interpersonal violence, is when an abusive partner uses power and control over their partner’s reproductive and sexual health.” – NNEDV
Advocates and the survivors you support every day can be reassured that reproductive health care, gender-affirming care, abortion services and medications are still legal and accessible in Washington State. The passage of Washington State’s Shield Law (HB 1469, effective immediately) confirms no one has to fear being investigated or jailed for providing or obtaining legal health care services and medications. The law includes protections for both the person seeking help and providers which include domestic and sexual abuse advocates, home visitors, Doulas, lactation experts and any healthcare related professionals.
State bans and restrictions to reproductive health care services across the United States have been—and will continue to be—devastating for all survivors of domestic and sexual violence. Most impacted by these bans are low-income survivors, survivors of color, survivors with disabilities, and others who already face substantial barriers to accessing the healthcare they need.
All survivors have the right to receive appropriate medical information and care. No matter their reproductive health care decisions. Access to a full spectrum of reproductive healthcare—including abortion—can help survivors of abuse survive and escape, allowing them to have real choices and build safer lives for themselves and their families.
Visit WSCADV’s legislative advocacy page to learn more about all the reproductive health care bills passed this session. Questions? Reach out to Leigh@wscadv.org.