California Continues Reproductive Freedom Leadership; Provides Blueprint to Protect and Expand Access to Abortion
13 Bills Build Upon Recommendations Put Forth by CA FAB Council
CALIFORNIA – The California Future of Abortion Council (CA FAB Council) steering committee, comprised of ACCESS REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE, Black Women for Wellness Action Project, Essential Access Health, National Health Law Program, NARAL Pro-Choice California, Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, and Training in Early Abortion for Comprehensive Healthcare (TEACH), announces its support for key legislation introduced this legislative session, building upon the recommendations put forth in the report released in December.
As extreme politicians in states around the country continue to take dangerous action attacking access to abortion care, California continues to provide a blueprint for states seeking to proactively protect and expand access to abortion. California policymakers must take swift action on these legislative priorities to begin preparing the state to adequately serve Californians while absorbing the increase in out-of-state patients forced to seek care here due to extreme abortion bans and restrictions in their home state.
The bills in the package address current barriers to accessing abortion care in California like costs and access to key information, civil and criminal protections for patients and providers, investments in and expansion of the workforce, and more.
The legislative package includes:
- SB 1142 (Skinner & Caballero): Establishes “The Abortion Support Fund,” which would provide grants to California organizations that assist patients in overcoming barriers to abortion through direct practical and logistical support. SB 1142 also creates an “Abortion Information Webpage,” with comprehensive information regarding accessing abortion services in California, to provide patients one point of entry to connect with the nearest and most accessible abortion provider, obtain coverage or financial support for care, and get logistical assistance and resources for travel, lodging, or other needs.
- SB 1245 (Kamlager): Establishes a reproductive health pilot project in Los Angeles County to support innovative approaches and patient centered collaborations to safeguard patient access to abortions, regardless of residency.
- SB 1375 (Atkins): Allows nurse-practitioners that meet specified criteria and training requirements to provide first trimester abortion independently.
- AB 1666 (Bauer-Kahan): Protects patients and providers in California from civil liability judgments for providing reproductive health care to patients when the claims are based on laws in other states that are hostile to abortion rights and are contrary to the public policy of California.
- AB 1918 (Petrie-Norris): Creates the California Reproductive Health Scholarship Corps, responsible for recruiting, training, and retaining a diverse workforce of health care professionals who will provide reproductive health services, including abortion, in underserved areas of California.
- AB 2091 (Bonta): Enhances privacy protections for medical records related to abortion care under California’s Reproductive Privacy Act against disclosures to law enforcement and out-of-state third parties seeking to enforce hostile abortion bans in other states.
- AB 2134 (Weber): Establishes the California Reproductive Health Equity Program which will provide grants to providers who provided uncompensated care to patients with low-incomes and those who face other financial barriers to accessing abortion and contraception.
- AB 2205 (Carrillo): Requires the qualified health plans under Covered California to report annually to the Department of Insurance and Department of Managed Health Care the total amounts of funds collected in the segregated accounts (established under the ACA to hold premium payment of $1 per member per month and from which claims for abortions must be paid) to better understand how much money is currently in those accounts and how much is being used each year to pay claims.
- AB 2223 (Wicks): Ensures that no one in California will be investigated, prosecuted, or incarcerated for ending a pregnancy or experiencing pregnancy loss.
- AB 2320 (Garcia): Establishes and administers a pilot program to direct funds to community health clinics that provide reproductive health care services in five counties and requires a participating health clinic to undertake specified activities to improve health care delivery for marginalized patients.
- AB 2529 (Davies & Calderon): Expands the Song-Brown Workforce Training Act to include Certified Nurse-Midwifery and Licensed Midwifery training programs. Adding these training programs as eligible applicants for Song-Brown funding, will increase Californians’ access to high-quality maternity care providers throughout the State.
- AB 2586 (Garcia): Establishes a working group with specified membership to examine the root causes of the reproductive health and sexual health inequities in California, and requires the working group to submit a report to the Legislature on or before January 1, 2024, with recommendations of how to decrease reproductive health and sexual health disparities that cover specified topics, including barriers to abortion access and contraception. AB 2586 also establishes the California Reproductive Justice and Freedom Fund to support community-based organizations to provide medically accurate, culturally congruent, comprehensive reproductive and sexual health education, inclusive of abortion, to disproportionately impacted communities.
- AB 2626 (Calderon): Protects abortion providers in California by prohibiting the removal or suspension of medical licenses for a licensee providing abortion care in California who is complying with California law.
In addition, the CA FAB Council legislative package includes support for the Abortion Accessibility Act, SB 245 (Gonzalez), a two-year bill sent to Governor Gavin Newsom this week. This bill will remove cost-barriers to abortion services by eliminating co-pays and co-insurance in commercial insurance for abortion.
The legislation, as well as action relating to all recommendations put forth by the CA FAB Council, can be viewed on this checklist – updated on a regular basis to keep Californians informed of the progress the state is making towards its promise of being a Reproductive Freedom State.
Quotes from CA Future of Abortion Council Leaders
National Health Law Program Director of Reproductive and Sexual Health Fabiola Carrion
“These bills, collectively, put California on track to be a place where abortion isn’t just legal – but also accessible and affordable for people who live in California and those who travel here seeking abortion care. The California Future of Abortion Council has worked with state policymakers to shape legislation that meets this critical moment in our nation’s history. It is now up to our state legislators to pass this package of legislation. These legislative proposals center the sexual and reproductive health needs of Black, Indigenous, and other people of color, people with disabilities, people in rural areas, young people, immigrants, and those having difficulty making ends meet. The fundamental right to make decisions about our bodies, lives, and futures is essential to the pursuit of health equity and racial, reproductive, and economic justice – California has the unique opportunity to make that right more tangible for millions of people.”
ACCESS REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE Executive Director Jessica Pinckney
“The legislative package supported by the Future of Abortion Council, based on our recommendations, is a significant and necessary step forward to ensuring abortion is truly accessible in California. With so much at stake in this fight, from an impending Supreme Court decision, to anti-abortion legislation and outright bans across the country, ACCESS REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE is proud to see California legislators put forth legislation that will make a necessary and immediate difference in the lives of those accessing an abortion, wherever they may be from. We hear from our callers every single day about the challenges they experience in trying to access basic healthcare. These callers are Black, Indigenous, People of Color, LGBTQ+, low income, young folks, unhoused, and often living at the intersections of these and other identities. It is imperative that California policymakers pass these necessary pieces of legislation to make bodily autonomy a true reality.”
Black Women for Wellness Action Project Policy Analyst Onyemma Obiekea
“This bill package represents the holistic approach necessary to ensure that everyone in California can realize and enjoy the full scope of their reproductive rights. As a member of the CA FAB Council steering committee, Black Women for Wellness Action Project applauds California state legislators for introducing legislation that will function to protect, expand, and make equitable, access to abortion and other reproductive health care. Where much of the country is keen on unearthing and contributing to our country’s disconcerting legacy of reproductive oppression through enactment of unrelenting and downright cruel abortion restrictions, California must continue to build a different, just legacy –– a legacy of choice. A legacy of reproductive freedom. It is imperative that our state policymakers continue to affirm their commitment to maintaining California’s status as a reproductive freedom state, by passing this package of legislation in its entirety.”
Essential Health Access Chief External Affairs Officer Amy Moy
“With this groundbreaking legislative package, California is ready to take meaningful, bold, and robust action to counter unprecedented attacks on the fundamental right to make personal health decisions about pregnancy. Together, these bills advance our state’s values and underscore our commitment to protecting reproductive freedom for all. The measures will expand access to time-sensitive abortion and birth control services for anyone seeking care within California’s borders. It is our hope that they will also serve as models for other states that share the opportunity – and responsibility – to do everything possible to ensure that no one is denied the essential health care they want and need.”
NARAL Pro-Choice California Director Shannon Olivieri Hovis
“With the U.S. Supreme Court poised to overturn Roe this year, we must embrace a bold, new approach to safeguarding reproductive freedom. That’s what the California Future of Abortion Council is doing—not only for Californians but for the countless people who will travel here they are blocked from accessing care in their home states. This legislative package shows the many ways California lawmakers are working to protect and expand access to abortion care, and live up to our designation as a Reproductive Freedom State. These bills are essential to ensure California can meet this moment, and NARAL Pro-Choice California, as a proud member of the CA FAB Council Steering Committee, will continue to put our full weight behind these efforts to ensure reproductive freedom for everybody.”
Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California President and CEO Jodi Hicks
“As states around the country continue to take dangerous and extreme actions restricting access to the constitutional right to abortion, California must provide an alternative way forward – one that prioritizes accessibility, affordability, and equity. This legislative package addresses key barriers to accessing abortion care here in California, both for Californians and for people forced to seek care here after being unable to access care in their home state. This is the most consequential year for abortion rights since 1973 and California must meet the moment by continuing to build upon its status as a Reproductive Freedom state by taking these steps.”
TEACH (Training in Early Abortion for Comprehensive Healthcare) Executive Director Flor Hunt
“This critical package of bills is a crucial step towards ensuring skilled, non-judgmental and compassionate abortion care is accessible at the systemic level. The Future of Abortion Council has identified existing barriers and shortcomings to reproductive freedom and the legislature has responded with the urgency and commitment this historic moment demands. California is poised to demonstrate, in sharp contrast to much of the country, what it means to center the reproductive health needs of pregnant people, particularly Black, Indigenous, LGBTQ+ and other people of color. As a member of the Steering Committee, TEACH is proud to work with the legislature to put forth this courageous agenda and will work closely to see it through.”
This year is shaping up to be the most consequential year for abortion rights since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973. Already this year, more than 500 abortion restrictions have been introduced across nearly 40 states. Recently, extreme politicians have introduced dangerous and extreme bans, including a 30-day ban in Oklahoma, as well as attempting to restrict residents ability to seek care outside of the state (Missouri). States closer to California, like Idaho and neighboring Arizona, are pursuing legislation similar to Texas’ six-week, vigilante-enforced abortion ban, known as SB 8. These actions are all taking place as the U.S. Supreme Court is nearing a decision in Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization – which was brought by Mississippi’s Republican Attorney General Lynn Fitch in an attempt to overturn Roe v. Wade completely.
Brandon Richards, Director of Communications
Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California
[email protected], 916.233.3758
Elliott Kozuch, Senior Communications Strategist
NARAL Pro-Choice California
The “California Future of Abortion Council” (CA FAB Council) is comprised of reproductive freedom and sexual and reproductive health care allies, partners, and leaders. The CA FAB Council works in collaboration with policymakers, researchers, advocates, providers, patients, and key constituents to determine potential challenges in the state and recommend solutions that will continue to provide access and stability for both Californians and those who may seek services here from out of state. The CA FAB Council allows for those dedicated to protecting reproductive rights and expanding access to sexual and reproductive health care to come together. Learn more here.