For Immediate Release: Tuesday, March 22, 2022
The Abortion Accessibility Act, a bill cosponsored by NARAL Pro-Choice California, would help remove one of the biggest barriers to abortion access—cost
Sacramento — Today, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB 245, the Abortion Accessibility Act, into law. SB 245, set to become law on January 1, 2023, will help remove the biggest barrier to abortion access—cost.
NARAL Pro-Choice California Director Shannon Olivieri Hovis released the following statement:
“By signing SB 245 into law, California has once again demonstrated its commitment to leading the nation as a Reproductive Freedom State. The Abortion Accessibility Act is an important step towards ensuring that everybody can access the care they need when they need it. We applaud Governor Newsom and the legislature for their commitment to reducing barriers that continue to delay and deny access to time-sensitive abortion care, especially when reproductive freedom faces unprecedented threats. NARAL Pro-Choice California is a proud cosponsor of this bill, alongside other reproductive health, rights, and justice organizations.”
The Abortion Accessibility Act, authored by state Senator Lena Gonzalez (D-Long Beach), prohibits California-licensed health plans and insurers from applying patient cost-sharing (including deductibles, copayments, or coinsurance) to abortion and abortion-related services. Pregnant people in California still struggle to overcome barriers when accessing abortion, whether that’s lack of time, the distance they have to travel, difficulty finding child care, trouble getting an appointment with a provider, or sheer cost. Additionally, people with low incomes and people of color are already forced to navigate a legacy of racist and discriminatory policies and are disproportionately harmed by such barriers to care.
SB 245 is co-sponsored by ACCESS REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE, Black Women for Wellness Action Project, NARAL Pro-Choice California, the National Health Law Program, and Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California.
The fight for reproductive freedom faces a pivotal moment. With the anti-choice supermajority on the U.S. Supreme Court considering a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, it has never been more important for California to enact laws to ensure the state is ready to meet this moment. If Roe fell tomorrow, 28 states could take action to prohibit abortion outright. California is home to more than a quarter of the nation’s healthcare facilities that provide abortion care. If Roe falls, California will have an outsized role in helping people from all across the country access the abortion care they need.
In response to nationwide attacks on reproductive freedom, NARAL Pro-Choice California and its allies formed the California Future of Abortion Council (CA FAB Council), which recommended the passage of SB 245. In December, the CA FAB Council, comprised of reproductive freedom, health, rights, and justice organizations and advocates, released its report as a blueprint for California’s next steps to safeguard and expand abortion access.
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, pregnancy and post-partum care, and paid family leave—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.