College Student Right to Access Act (SB 24, Leyva)
The College Student Right to Access Act would expand abortion care at California’s public universities by requiring that the UC and CSU offer the abortion pill at campus health centers. This bill reaffirms the constitutional right of all Californians to access abortion care and guarantees that college students do not have to endure the added financial, logistical, and emotional burden of seeking standard reproductive healthcare off-campus.
The bill’s reintroduction comes after Governor Brown’s insensitive and out of touch veto of the bill last year, despite overwhelming support in the State Legislature and among the public. A survey conducted by Change Research on behalf of NARAL Pro-Choice California revealed 60 percent of likely California voters, and 72 percent of women, say students should be able to access the abortion pill on campus.
The bill is sponsored by NARAL Pro-Choice California, ACCESS Women’s Health Justice, ACLU of California, ACT for Women and Girls, California Latinas for Reproductive Justice, Students United for Reproductive Justice, and the Women’s Policy Institute/Women’s Foundation of California.
For more information, visit http://justcarecalifornia.org
California Dignity in Pregnancy and Childbirth Act (SB 464, Mitchell)
The California Dignity in Pregnancy and Childbirth Act (SB 464), authored by Senator Holly J. Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) and Assemblymember Shirley Weber (D-San Diego) would require all perinatal healthcare providers, including physicians, nurses, midwives and frontline personnel, to participate in an implicit bias training designed to curtail the impact of bias on maternal health, and improve California data collection to better track and understand pregnancy-related deaths.
Access to prenatal care, socioeconomic status, or physical health does not fully explain the disparity seen in Black women maternal mortality and morbidity rates. A 2016 study by University of Virginia researchers found that white medical students believed biological myths about racial differences in patients, including that Black patients have less sensitive nerve endings, are able to tolerate more pain, and have thicker skin than their white counterparts. Black women are three to four times more likely to die from childbirth than the average Californian. According to a 2018 report released by the California Pregnancy-Associated Mortality Review Board, Black women made up 5% of the birth cohort in California, but 21% of pregnancy-related deaths. The same report showed that 41% of all California pregnancy deaths had a good to strong chance of preventability. There is a growing body of evidence that Black women are often treated unfairly and unequally in the healthcare system.
The bill is sponsored by NARAL Pro-Choice California, Black Women for Wellness, ACT for Women and Girls, and Western Center on Law and Poverty.