Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler and California Democrat Katie Porter reintroduced their Charlotte Woodward Organ Transplant Discrimination Prevention Act this week after the bill made little progress in the 116th Congress, which ended last January.
Named after advocate Charlotte Woodward, who has Down syndrome and received a heart transplant in 2012, the bill would prohibit discrimination based on mental or physical disability for organ transplants.
“If an individual needs access to a life-saving organ transplant, they shouldn’t be denied based on their disability — either physical or mental,” Herrera Beutler, a Republican from Battle Ground, said in a press release. “I’m proud to reintroduce this important legislation today named after Charlotte Woodward, a relentless advocate against discrimination who has Down syndrome, to help ensure people with disabilities receive the same treatment and access to life-saving organ transplants.”
Woodward has previously championed the bill as one to ensure people with disabilities have the same opportunity for lifesaving care that she was given in 2012.
Last year, the bill was introduced in December and referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. “I’m proud to renew my push with Congresswoman Herrera Beutler to prevent discrimination against Americans with disabilities in getting necessary transplants,” Porter said. “Discrimination has no place in our healthcare system.”