For Immediate Release: March 29, 2017
Contact: Rebecca Griffin, rgriffin@prochoiceamerica.org415.500.8123

Sacramento, CA:  NARAL Pro-Choice California today praised committee passage of a plan to ban discrimination against Californians based on their personal reproductive health choices. The Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act (AB 569) passed out of the Assembly Committee on Labor and Employment by a vote of 5 to 2. RHNDA, introduced by Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-80) and sponsored by NARAL Pro-Choice California and California Latinas for Reproductive Justice, would protect Californians from workplace discrimination based on their personal reproductive health care decisions, like whether to access contraception, abortion, or in vitro fertilization.

“All Californians should have the ability to make private decisions that affect their reproductive health, economic security, and other aspects of their lives without employers intruding,” said Amy Everitt, state director of NARAL Pro-Choice California. “With this vote, California is sending a message that we understand women can’t have true economic security without reproductive freedom.”

“Latinas have the largest pay gap across the U.S., where a Latina working full-time, year-round in California is paid 43 cents for every dollar paid to a white, non-Latino full-time, year-round male worker. This extraordinary pay gap and over-representation in low-wage industry jobs makes achieving economic security more difficult for Latina workers and their families,” said Laura Jimenez, Executive Director of California Latinas for Reproductive Justice. “The passage of AB 569 out of the AssemblyLaborCommitteeis a step toward passing a good policy and a matter of survival for Latinas whose precarious economic stability relies on California strengtheninglaborworkplace protections that don’t hinder our reproductive autonomy.”

Testifying in support of the bill were Rebecca Griffin of NARAL Pro-Choice California, Myra Duran of California Latinas for Reproductive Justice and Rev. Rick Schlosser of California Church IMPACT. You can findvideo of the hearing here.

This plan to protect California workers comes amidst unprecedented threats to our reproductive freedom. Anti-choice politicians at the federal level have pushed overly-broad restrictions on our ability to access basic reproductive care, many times using religious arguments as a license to discriminate. For example, in a recently leaked draft of a sweeping executive order, the Trump administration proposed a broader definition of “religious liberty” that would give employers a license to discriminate against women and LGBTQ individuals.

Just this week, 16 faith groups across California urged passage of AB 569, citing the importance of respecting all people’s personal health care decisions and not using religious freedom as a license to discriminate.

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