For Immediate Release: Wednesday, September 22, 2021
Historic, Dangerous Attacks to Reproductive Freedom Reinforce California’s Role as Beacon of Hope for People Seeking Sexual and Reproductive Health Care
SACRAMENTO — ACCESS REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE, Black Women for Wellness Action Project, NARAL Pro-Choice California, National Health Law Program (NHeLP), and Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California (PPAC), along with other members of the California Coalition for Reproductive Freedom, are announcing a team of advocates and experts to reinforce California’s critical role in offering sexual and reproductive health care, including abortion. This announcement follows the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to allow Texas’ SB 8 to go into effect, essentially giving Texas the green light to render Roe v. Wade meaningless in the state.
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 will collaborate with researchers, advocates, policymakers, providers, patients, and key constituents to determine potential challenges in the state and recommend solutions that will continue to provide stability and sanctuary for both Californians and those who may seek services here from out of state. Ultimately, the CA FAB Council will create opportunities for those dedicated to advancing rights and expanding access to come together to develop and create a blueprint outlining California’s next steps and determine how expanding access to care could impact services and resources.
The latest U.S. Supreme Court ruling regarding Texas’ ban on abortion after six weeks, coupled with its plan to review long-standing legal precedent under Roe v. Wade in the upcoming Jackson Women’s Health Organization case, has rattled people nationwide and jeopardized access to abortion care for millions of women and people across the country.
California continues to be a beacon of hope for those who live here. The recent legal actions underscore that the state must continue to prepare to provide care to those forced to seek services elsewhere due to state bans. The CA FAB Council will help analyze what California currently has in place and can expand upon, not just for people who call this state home but also for those who may seek care in California due to their own state refusing or restricting services.
In addition to Texas’ SB 8 putting a spotlight on these issues, Governor Newsom just won a resounding victory in the recall election by centering the need to protect and expand people’s access to sexual and reproductive health care, including abortion. With strong support from state leaders and Californians for protecting and expanding abortion access, building upon California’s Reproductive Freedom leadership must be a top priority.
Statements from organization leadership and California leadership on these efforts:
Governor Gavin Newsom
“I am proud of California’s leadership in protecting access to sexual and reproductive rights, but as we’ve seen recently, we can, and we must do more. I applaud the establishment of the FAB Council and look forward to participating alongside other members and advocates to ensure California is expanding access to sexual and reproductive health care, including abortion in the wake of the dangerous, harmful, and unconstitutional restriction put in place in Texas. My administration will continue to work to find ways that California can continue to be a beacon for those seeking essential services, particularly those who face greater barriers in our state or are coming from out-of-state to California to seek essential care they cannot receive in their own state.”
Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego)
“Working as a director of clinical services at a woman’s health care clinic in the 1980s, I saw firsthand what access — and lack thereof — meant for women. At our San Diego clinic, we helped women from Mexico and other states with restricted access, and I saw firsthand the devastating emotional and financial impact that had on them. I met mothers who lost daughters due to illegal abortions. Held the hands of women as they considered their options. This isn’t just a singular legal decision — it’s a ruling that has a daily impact, a very real, very personal, impact for women across this country. And as we look carefully at all that it will mean for California, I remain committed to protecting reproductive rights and a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body and access the health care services she needs.”
Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood)
“As the Supreme Court strikes down what has been a fundamental right for nearly 50 years, California’s role as a leader in sexual and reproductive health care is more important than ever. I am encouraged that Planned Parenthood and others are working to keep California as an example of reproductive freedom. We should continue not just to protect, but to expand access to sexual and reproductive care – including abortion – for everyone who makes that choice.”
Jessica Pinckney, Executive Director, ACCESS REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE
“As a Reproductive Justice organization funding abortion and providing practical support such as travel, lodging, and childcare to people accessing abortion in California, ACCESS REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE knows how crucial bodily autonomy and decision-making power is to our callers and community. We are committed to doing everything in our power to ensure people have full access to abortions and the other reproductive healthcare they need, because restrictive laws do not get to determine the futures we choose to have for ourselves. We do. ACCESS is pleased to be part of the California Future of Abortion Council and looks forward to centering the experiences of our callers seeking abortion care and support in this effort.”
Shannon Olivieri Hovis, Director, NARAL Pro-Choice California
“Today’s announcement of the CA Future of Abortion Council is not only a step in the right direction for the Golden State, but for the entire country. California is proud to be a Reproductive Freedom State, as Governor Newsom officially declared two years ago and as our state constitution and legislature have made clear. The constitutional right to abortion is being attacked at every turn, which has sweeping consequences across the country, including California. If Roe v. Wade is overturned, anti-choice lawmakers in nearly half the country’s states could take steps to end safe, legal abortion. This means millions of people could be blocked from seeking abortion care in their own state and be forced to travel to islands of access like California in search of care. Our state must ensure that we are taking every step possible to advance reproductive freedom and ensure every person who needs care in California can access it.”
Fabiola Carrión, Interim Director, Reproductive and Sexual Health at the National Health Law Program
“Abortion is health care. Just as NHeLP defends the rights of Medicaid beneficiaries to access coverage of all health services, we unequivocally do the same for abortion. We thank Governor Newsom for taking bold steps to protect access to abortions for all Californians. In the face of unprecedented restrictions in other states and a forthcoming Supreme Court decision, it’s critical to that our Governor ensures abortions are available, affordable, and accessible for anyone who needs them.”
Jodi Hicks, CEO/President, Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California
“Given the recent attacks on reproductive rights and access across the country, California must strategize policy, legal, and advocacy solutions for expanding access to care to ensure California remains a reproductive freedom state and achieves health equity. The country is facing a stark reality where millions of people will no longer be able to receive essential health care and California’s leadership and example are once again needed more than ever.”
For over 50 years, NARAL Pro-Choice America has fought to protect and advance reproductive freedom at the federal and state levels—including access to abortion care, birth control, paid family leave, and protections from pregnancy discrimination—for every body. NARAL is powered by its more than 2.5 million members from every state and congressional district in the country, representing the 8 in 10 Americans who support safe, legal abortion.