For Immediate Release: Tuesday, November 9, 2021
With reproductive freedom under attack in the United States, NARAL Pro-Choice California releases first legislative scorecard in more than 20 years
Sacramento — Today, NARAL Pro-Choice California released its 2021 Reproductive Freedom Legislative Scorecard to hold California legislators accountable and applaud state lawmakers who are stepping up to lead on issues of reproductive freedom amid national attacks on abortion access. The Reproductive Freedom Scorecard grades legislators based on their Assembly and Senate committee and floor votes on reproductive freedom legislation, in addition to giving weighted consideration to legislators who author and co-author bills and take national action in support of reproductive freedom and justice.
Shannon Olivieri Hovis, Director of NARAL Pro-Choice California said:
“The legal right to abortion is hanging by a thread in our country, but this scorecard—NARAL Pro-Choice California’s first in more than 20 years—demonstrates that California legislators are stepping up to champion reproductive freedom and meet this moment. If Roe falls, California, which is currently home to a quarter of the nation’s healthcare facilities providing abortion care, will have an outsized role to play in helping pregnant people all across the country access the care they need. Our lawmakers must ensure California is prepared to provide care to the potentially thousands upon thousands of people who soon may not be able to access abortion in their own states. As we look to 2022, NARAL and nearly 300,000 members statewide look forward to working with California lawmakers to step up and step into the role that is demanded of us on the national stage.”
Recent research from the Guttmacher Institute has shown that if Roe v. Wade is overturned and the 26 states likely to ban abortion do so, California may see a 2,923% increase in women of reproductive age who could need to drive to the state seeking care—from 46,000 to 1.4 million people. In California, a strong majority of legislators support reproductive freedom, a testament to their values and conviction. However, support is just the starting point for being a true reproductive freedom champion. Nationally and in California, support for access to legal abortion is at a record high, with 8 in 10 Americans and Californians believing that abortion should remain legal, including a majority of Republicans.
NARAL Pro-Choice California designed its Reproductive Freedom Legislative Scorecard to hold anti-choice legislators accountable and differentiate between legislators who support reproductive freedom and those who go above and beyond to ensure that all people can make personal decisions about their own reproductive lives and futures. Lawmakers’ scores are divided into six categories:
- Reproductive Freedom Champions (15 State Senators and 26 Assemblymembers): These legislators not only vote consistently for legislation that upholds our values, but they also lead author and co-author reproductive freedom bills, whip necessary committee and floor votes to advance these bills, and proactively and publicly utilize their platform to speak up and push to expand reproductive freedom.
- Reproductive Freedom Leaders (10 State Senators and 15 Assemblymembers): Leaders are strong advocates who consistently vote to advance reproductive freedom. They sometimes lead author or co-author reproductive freedom bills and may use their platform to support reproductive freedom.
- Reproductive Freedom Defenders (3 State Senators and 12 Assemblymembers): Defenders consistently vote to expand reproductive freedom and may co-author the occasional reproductive freedom bill.
- Legislators with Mixed Support for Reproductive Freedom (3 State Senators and 6 Assemblymembers): Legislators with mixed support for reproductive freedom have taken votes both in favor of and against reproductive freedom.
- Legislators Hostile to Reproductive Freedom (1 Assemblymember): Legislators hostile to reproductive freedom may vote for some policies protecting reproductive freedom but vote against many others.
- Legislators Extremely Hostile to Reproductive Freedom (9 State Senators and 19 Assemblymembers): Legislators extremely hostile to reproductive freedom fail to fight for reproductive freedom. They actively and fervently work to deny Californians our fundamental rights to access reproductive healthcare.
NARAL Pro-Choice California will consider this scorecard when making decisions about which candidates to support and endorse and looks forward to working closely with champions for reproductive freedom up and down the state as California continues to push the envelope to safeguard the right to decide if, when, and how to raise a family.
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 legal abortion.