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Overview 

There is no doubt that reproductive freedom remains in grave danger nationwide. With Kavanaugh seated on the Supreme Court, Roe v. Wade is more vulnerable than ever, which is why California’s role serving as the gold standard for reproductive freedom and as a safe haven for all who seek care within our borders is ever more important. California continues leading the nation to protect and expand access to the full scope of reproductive healthcare, including improving access to sexual/reproductive health education, contraception, and abortion; and improving outcomes for maternal and infant health by fighting pregnancy discrimination, addressing bias in maternal healthcare, and advancing paid family leave. 

In California, a strong majority of legislators identify as pro-choice, a testament to their values and conviction, but also just the starting point for being a true champion for reproductive freedom. It is for this reason that NARAL Pro-Choice California is launching the Reproductive Freedom Scorecard to hold California legislators to account and to highlight the state legislators who are stepping up to lead on issues of reproductive freedom. 

The Reproductive Freedom Legislative Scorecard seeks to hold anti-choice legislators accountable and to differentiate between legislators who support reproductive freedom and legislators who are willing to go above and beyond to stand with the vast majority of Americans who back Roe v. Wade and think everyone should be able to make their own decisions about pregnancy and access the full range of reproductive healthcare. NARAL Pro-Choice California looks to California’s legislators to stand with women and LGBTQ communities in the fight to protect and expand access to reproductive freedom for all people.

NARAL Pro-Choice California PrivacyPAC will take this scorecard into consideration 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 in safeguarding the right to decide if, when, and how to raise a family. On behalf of our 265,000 members activists in California and the 77% of Americans who support access to legal abortion, NARAL Pro-Choice California will remain committed to defending and advancing our fundamental freedoms.

Methodology

NARAL Pro-Choice California’s Reproductive Freedom Legislative Scorecard will document the key Assembly and Senate committee and floor votes on reproductive freedom legislation, and give weighted consideration to lead authorship and co-authorship of reproductive freedom and justice bills. 

Specifically, a consistent voting record with NARAL Pro-Choice California will earn legislators a “B” grade, as an indication of good performance. In order to demonstrate excellent performance and earn an “A” or an “A+,” legislators must exhibit a stronger commitment to reproductive freedom through lead authoring or co-authoring legislation. Each lead authorship will earn the legislator an additional ten percentage points; each co-authorship will earn the legislator an additional five percentage points. Additionally, in the State Assembly, it will be indicated, (though not awarded additional points), if the Assemblymember serves as a member of the Select Committee on Women’s Reproductive Health. 

NARAL Pro-Choice California will score bills related to sexual/reproductive health education, contraception, and abortion; as well as bills that seek to improve outcomes for maternal and infant health, fight pregnancy discrimination, address bias in maternal healthcare, and advance paid family leave. 

The Reproductive Freedom Scorecard will reflect annual and not aggregated scores. In 2020, priority bills introduced during 2020 as well as priority 2-year bills will be scored. In scoring, NARAL Pro-Choice California will determine if “No Vote Recorded (NVR)” was intentional or attributed to absence. 

The first scorecard will be released in September 2020 after the conclusion of the legislative session.

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