For immediate release: September 3, 2015
Yong Salas, Office of Assemblymember David Chiu, (916) 319-2017, email@example.com
Rebecca Griffin, NARAL Pro-Choice California, (415) 500-8123, firstname.lastname@example.org
(Sacramento, CA): Today, the California State Senate passed AB 775, known as the Reproductive Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care and Transparency (FACT) Act, by a 23-14 vote. The bill, authored by Assemblymembers David Chiu (D-San Francisco) and Autumn R. Burke (D-Inglewood) requires that unlicensed facilities that provide pregnancy-related services disclose that they are not licensed medical providers. Licensed reproductive health clinics must notify patients that California has programs to help them access affordable family planning, abortion services and prenatal care. The bill is sponsored by Attorney General Kamala Harris, NARAL Pro-Choice California and Black Women for Wellness.
A poll of 600 likely November 2016 voters in California conducted by Tulchin Research found that more than seven in ten voters (71%) support requiring unlicensed facilities that advertise pregnancy-related services to clarify that they are not licensed medical facilities to just 17% who oppose this requirement. Eighty percent of voters support requiring state-licensed clinics to inform women of programs that provide financial assistance for contraception, prenatal care, abortion and family planning to just 11 percent who are opposed. Catholic voters back this requirement by a margin of better than 5-to-1, with 77% of Catholics supporting it to just 15% opposed. Additionally, the requirement is backed by self-identified “conservatives” by a margin of better than 2-to-1, with 60% of conservatives supporting it to 28% opposed.
“Access to safe, reliable, and factual medical care is crucial for all women – especially those who are pregnant. When establishments purposefully misrepresent themselves to these young women, they undermine the trust and integrity of the entire medical community,” said Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara), chair of the Legislative Women’s Caucus. “I was honored to carry AB 775 on the Senate floor, and I encourage Governor Brown to sign this important pro-choice piece of legislation.”
“California women should be able to make fully-informed decisions about their own health care, without tricks, gimmicks, or half-truths,” said Assemblymember David Chiu. “While the rest of the country has regressed on a woman’s right to choose, California has characteristically moved forward, and the Legislature’s action today maintains our state’s legacy of protecting this right. I urge the Governor to sign this bill and ensure California women receive all the facts when making these life-changing decisions.”
“Ensuring that all women have the care they need to lead healthy lives shouldn’t be controversial,” said Assemblywoman Autumn Burke. “California women deserve accurate and complete information wherever they turn for care, especially when they are making some of the most important decisions they will ever face.”
“California has been a national leader in promoting and protecting equal access to the full range of women’s reproductive health care options,” said Attorney General Harris. “The Reproductive FACT Act will ensure that women are empowered to make informed and timely decisions about their health and their bodies.”
“Today, the Senate sent a clear message that women deserve to have all the information that will help them make the best health care decisions for themselves and their families, ” said Amy Everitt, state director of NARAL Pro-Choice California. “Governor Brown should sign the Reproductive FACT Act and demonstrate that California understands what it means to truly respect reproductive freedom and the dignity of women.”
“The fact of the matter is it’s a simple bill. We trust women to make the best decisions,” said Nourbese Flint of Black Women for Wellness. “By ensuring women have access to reproductive health information free from coercion, and informing women of the full range of choices available to live healthy full lives regardless of, race, income or geographic location, we are saying that women are able to make the best decisions about our future. Our livelihoods and our health shouldn’t be subject to the biased opinions of strangers who are more concerned about pushing an agenda than my or my community’s health.”
The Reproductive FACT Act is supported by more than 40 organizations including reproductive freedom, medical and faith groups. In August, more than 100 faith leaders signed an open letter declaring their support for the bill.