For Immediate Release: Thursday, September 1, 2022

Largest Bill Package in Country Protecting & Expanding Abortion Access Moves Forward; 13 Bills Head to Governor’s Desk for Signature

CALIFORNIA – The California Future of Abortion Council (CA FAB Council) steering committee, comprised of ACCESS REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE, Black Women for Wellness Action Project, Essential Access Health, NARAL Pro-Choice California, National Health Law Program, Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, and Training in Early Abortion for Comprehensive Healthcare (TEACH), released the following statement in response to the California Assembly and Senate passing the historic CA FAB Council’s 2022 legislative package and sending it to Governor Newsom’s desk for signature.

The legislative package stemmed from the CA FAB Council report that was released in December 2021 anticipating the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision. The report outlined policy recommendations and solutions needed to expand and protect access for anyone seeking care in California in a post-Roe world and ensure California continues to lead the country as a Reproductive Freedom state.

“California’s legislative leaders are continuing to lead the country by sending this robust and comprehensive bill package to Governor Newsom, continuing our state’s legacy of prioritizing, protecting, and expanding reproductive freedom.”

“As more states enact total or extreme bans on abortion care–leaving millions of people without the ability to access legal abortion care in their home state–California continues to provide a blueprint for what is possible when policy centers people, equity, science, and medicine; and trust each person to make the best decisions for themselves and their family about their health care options.”

“We look forward to Governor Newsom continuing to provide and exemplify national leadership when it comes to protecting sexual and reproductive health care, including abortion, by signing this bold and historic bill package into law.”

Almost one year ago, Governor Newsom charged reproductive health, rights, and justice advocates to come together through the CA FAB Council to identify actions the state must take to ensure California and Californians were prepared for the overturning of Roe v. Wade. This legislative package is the product of months of collaboration between advocates and policymakers and seeks to address the national health crisis spreading across our country after the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

It is essential that the entire CA FAB Council package of bills be signed into law. No one piece is more important than the other as each is interconnected to address current barriers to care experienced by people in and out of California, and support and protect patients, providers, and organizations within California now navigating a hostile and dangerous post-Roe landscape.

The bills sent to Governor Newsom this month join three additional CA FAB Council-supported bills passed earlier this legislative session:

  • SB 245 (Gonzalez) was signed into law, removing cost barriers to abortion by requiring all state-licensed health care service plans to cover abortion services without a co-payment, deductible, or any type of cost-sharing.
  • AB 1666 (Bauer-Kahan) was signed into law, protecting those in California from civil liability for providing, aiding, or receiving abortion care.
  • SCA 10 (Atkins & Rendon) was passed and is now Proposition 1, a state constitutional amendment to make explicit the fundamental constitutional right to abortion and contraceptives.

In addition to the legislative achievements this year, Governor Newsom and legislative leaders–upon the request of the CA FAB Council–signed a budget that included $200+ million in new funding to protect and expand access to abortion and other sexual and reproductive health care services.

LIST OF CA FAB COUNCIL BILLS PASSED BY CA LEGISLATURE:

AB 657 (Cooper) will expedite licensure for providers and clinicians committed to provide abortion care in California.

AB 1242 (Bauer-Kahan) protects Californians from third-party enforcement of abortion restrictions at the local level.

AB 1918 (Petrie-Norris) creates the California Reproductive Health Service Corps, responsible for recruiting, training, and retaining a diverse workforce of health care professionals who will provide reproductive health services, including abortion, in underserved areas of California.

  • NOTE: While $20 million was included in the state Budget for the Reproductive Health Service Corps, AB 1918 establishes guidance and informs implementation of the program to ensure it achieves its objectives of improving abortion access and addressing provider shortages.

AB 2091 (Bonta) enhances privacy protections for medical records related to abortion care under California’s Reproductive Privacy Act against disclosures to law enforcement and out-of-state third parties seeking to enforce hostile abortion bans in other states.

  • NOTE: This bill has an urgency clause and would go into effect immediately upon signature by Governor Newsom.

AB 2134 (Weber) establishes the California Reproductive Health Equity Program, which will provide grants to providers who provided uncompensated care to patients with low incomes and those who face other financial barriers to accessing abortion and contraception.

  • NOTE: While $40 million was included in the state Budget for the uncompensated care for abortion services fund, AB 2134 is needed to codify the grant eligibility criteria for the Reproductive Health Equity Program and ensure the program is inclusive of both uncompensated abortion and contraception.

AB 2205 (Carrillo) requires the qualified health plans under Covered California to report annually to the Department of Insurance and Department of Managed Health Care the total amounts of funds collected in the segregated accounts (established under the Affordable Care Act to hold premium payment of $1 per member per month and from which claims for abortions must be paid) to better understand how much money is currently in those accounts and how much is being used each year to pay claims.

AB 2223 (Wicks) ensures that no one in California will be investigated, prosecuted, or incarcerated for ending a pregnancy or experiencing pregnancy loss.

AB 2320 (Garcia) establishes and administers a pilot program to direct funds to community health clinics that provide reproductive health care services in five counties and requires a participating health clinic to undertake specified activities to improve health care delivery for marginalized patients.

  • NOTE: The funding to support the pilot program created in AB 2320 was not secured in the state Budget, however AB 2320 is still moving forward to create the program and framework to provide support to primary care clinics who seek to provide abortion care. AB 2320 was amended to specify that it is subject to an appropriation in next year’s budget.

AB 2586 (Garcia & Rivas) establishes the California Reproductive Justice and Freedom Fund to support community-based organizations to provide medically accurate, culturally congruent, comprehensive reproductive and sexual health education, inclusive of abortion, to disproportionately impacted communities.

  • NOTE: The state Budget included $15 million towards the Reproductive Justice Fund. AB 2586 is needed to clarify and inform implementation of this fund to ensure that funding is allocated as intended to support medically accurate, culturally responsive, comprehensive information about the full spectrum of reproductive health care in California.

AB 2626 (Calderon) protects abortion providers in California by prohibiting the removal or suspension of medical licenses for a licensee providing abortion care in California who is complying with California law.

  • NOTE: This bill has an urgency clause and would go into effect immediately upon signature by Governor Newsom.

SB 1142 (Caballero & Skinner) creates an “Abortion Information Webpage” managed by the California Department of Public Health with comprehensive information regarding accessing abortion services in California. The webpage will provide patients one point of entry to connect with the nearest and most accessible abortion provider, obtain coverage or financial support for care, and get logistical assistance and resources for travel, lodging, or other needs.

  • NOTE: The previous version of SB 1142 established the Abortion Support Fund, after being created and funded through the state Budget, championed by Senators Caballero and Skinner, with an allocation of $20 million, that provision was removed from SB 1142. The Abortion Support Fund will provide resources, through California-based organizations, to assist people when accessing abortion care (like travel, child-care, lodging, food, & more).

SB 1245 (Kamlager) establishes the Los Angeles County Reproductive Safe Haven Pilot Program to support innovative approaches and patient-centered collaborations to safeguard patient access to abortions, regardless of residency.

  • NOTE: This program was created and funded in the state Budget with an allocation of $20 million.

SB 1375 (Atkins) allows nurse practitioners that meet specified criteria and training requirements to provide first-trimester abortion independently.

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