Christina Wood said she experienced financial and accessibility hardships while trying to get gender-affirming treatments, which she started 15 years ago in New Mexico. Wood said she moved to Oregon in hopes of receiving better care and insurance coverage.

Corrections & Clarifications: This article has been updated to accurately reflect that former House speaker Dan Rayfield formed the reproductive health and access to care workgroup.

Christina Wood experienced an array of financial and accessibility hardships when trying to receive care to support her transition journey.

Wood moved from New Mexico to Oregon in hopes of finding more providers and insurance that would cover her gender affirming care, which is any type of physical or behavioral healthcare a person receives to affirm their sense of self and increase their sense of safety. It can range from hormone therapy and electrolysis to behavioral health counseling.

While many states are proposing legislation that would limit or completely block access to these types of care, advocates and legislators in Oregon hope to pass HB 2002, which would protect and decrease gaps in access to reproductive and gender affirming healthcare.

A hearing is scheduled for HB 2002, an Oregon bill that would protect access to reproductive and gender affirming care, at 3 p.m. March 20 in hearing room F at the Capitol.

HB 2002 explicitly lists reproductive and gender affirming healthcare that would require insurance coverage by any health benefit plan in the state of Oregon, including abortion, contraceptives, sexually transmitted infections screening, breastfeeding support, domestic violence counseling, electrolysis and facial surgery.

“Hopefully a bill like this would be able to cut down some of those barriers because it does take a toll on somebody, you know. I’ve waited all my life to be the person that I am now,” Wood said.

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