BURTON – State Representatives Charles Smiley (D-Burton), Pam Faris (D-Clio) and state Senator Jim Ananich (D-Flint) announced their support for a package of legislation that would improve access to women’s health care, educate women about health care options, support rape survivors and address health care inequities women face. The package of legislation — four bills and three resolutions — were recently introduced and now await a hearing.
“People across Michigan are demanding that women have better access to health care,” Smiley said. “Many residents voiced their concerns about this issue during our Real State of Our State Listening Tour. My colleagues and I are taking these concerns seriously; we used the wishes of our constituents and developed these bills to promote greater access to women’s health care.”
The package of legislation includes:
• House Resolution 140, naming May 12-18 “National Women’s Health Week” in Michigan (introduced by Rep.Gretchen Driskell)
• HR 138, urging the DCH to promote programs that identify and address inequities in the prevention, treatment and research of diseases threatening women (Rep. Winnie Brinks)
• HR 139 recommending that the state intensify efforts to reduce the rate of teen pregnancies (Rep. Collene Lamonte)
• House Bill 4067, requiring all health facilities and agencies to offer emergency contraception to rape survivors (Rep. Charles Smiley)
• HB 4722, which directs the Department of Community Health (DCH) to develop and disseminate information about emergency contraception, including a description, explanation of use, safety efficacy and availability of emergency contraception (Rep. Marcia Hovey-Wright)
• HB 4721, requiring age-appropriate, medically accurate and objective sexuality education to be taught in public schools (Rep. Jeff Irwin)
• HB 4260, requiring doctors to give information on breast density and to notify women who have dense breast tissue that they may want to seek further testing (Rep. Winnie Brinks).
“These proposals are a great way to continue addressing the need for increased access to women’s health care in Michigan,” said Faris. “I believe that every woman deserves quality care and a chance at a healthy life. I look forward to working with my colleagues to pass these bills.”
Ananich said, “Health care concerns are personal issues, pocketbook issues and important issues for everyone in Michigan. These measures will help people get the care they need and make the best decisions for them and their family.”