There is no doubt that reproductive freedom remains in grave peril nationwide. With Justices Amy Barrett, Brett Kavanaugh, and Neil Gorsuch cementing an anti-reproductive freedom supermajority on the U.S. 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 pregnancy and delivery care, and advancing paid family leave.
In California, a strong majority of state legislators identify as pro-choice—a testament to their values and conviction—but that is 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 Legislative 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 77% of Americans who believe abortion should be legal and support the right to determine our own lives, destinies, and futures. NARAL Pro-Choice California urges California’s legislators to stand with women and LGBTQ communities in the fight to protect and expand access to reproductive freedom and justice for all people.
NARAL Pro-Choice California PrivacyPAC will take this scorecard into consideration when making decisions about which candidates to 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. While the Reproductive Freedom Legislative Scorecard will only reflect the legislative record on issues of reproductive freedom, NARAL Pro-Choice California has allied support positions on issues of racial justice, LGBTQIA+ rights, immigration rights, and democracy & civil rights. Legislative records in these allied issue areas may also be taken into account when considering endorsements.
On behalf of our 295,000 member activists in California, NARAL Pro-Choice California will always be committed to defending and advancing our fundamental freedoms.
NARAL Pro-Choice California’s Reproductive Freedom Legislative Scorecard will score key Assembly and Senate committee and floor votes on reproductive freedom legislation, as well as factor in lead authorship and co-authorship of bills advancing reproductive freedom. Votes and authorships will be weighted based on alignment with organizational priorities. Legislative offices will be notified ahead of the vote on bills that NARAL Pro-Choice California plans to score.
“No Vote Recorded” will be counted as a “No” vote unless the “No Vote Recorded” is attributed to an excused absence. Similarly, in a close floor vote, if a legislator has “Added On” after the fact and not helped the bill pass off of the floor, the vote will be recorded as “Added On” and may not be scored the same as a “Yes” vote.
Other applicable factors may be taken into account, including actions taken by a committee chair to prevent a reproductive freedom bill from advancing or introducing anti-choice or hostile legislation. 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 in the areas of reproductive health, rights, and freedom, including: access to sexual and reproductive health education, information, and counseling; equitable access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services including increasing affordability, expanding the number and types of providers, fighting harmful restrictions on care, and more; and access to pregnancy and postpartum services and support including improving maternal health outcomes, fighting pregnancy discrimination, expanding paid family leave, and more.
The Reproductive Freedom Scorecard will reflect annual and not aggregated scores. The first scorecard will be released in September 2021, after the conclusion of the legislative session.
Grading Scale Definitions
(A+, A) Reproductive Freedom Champions
Champions are on the front line of the fight for reproductive freedom. These legislators not only take the right votes, 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.
(A-, B+) Reproductive Freedom Defenders
Defenders 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.
(B, B-) Reproductive Freedom Allies
Allies consistently vote to expand reproductive freedom and may co-author the occasional reproductive freedom bill.
(C) Legislators with Mixed Support for Reproductive Freedom
Mixed-choice legislators vote for some policies protecting reproductive freedom and vote against others.
(D) Legislators Hostile to Reproductive Freedom
Anti-choice legislators may vote for some policies protecting reproductive freedom, but vote against many others.
(F) Legislators Extremely Hostile to Reproductive Freedom
Extremely anti-choice legislators fail in the fight for reproductive freedom. They actively and fervently work to deny Californians our fundamental rights to access reproductive healthcare.
(NEI) Not Enough Information
These legislators did not complete a full term and therefore did not have the opportunity to author or co-author legislation at the beginning of the session and were not present for all votes scored by NARAL Pro-Choice California.