In response to the Texas Court case seeking to block Mifepristone’s FDA approval, on Monday, April 19, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that California has secured up to 2 million pills of misoprostol through CalRX to ensure California providers can continue to offer medication abortions without disruption. California shared the negotiated terms of its misoprostol purchase agreement to assist other states in securing misoprostol, at low cost. The state is also informing Medi-Cal providers about continued reimbursements for Medication Abortion (MAB) using a misoprostol-only treatment regimen.
For the latest updates regarding the Texas Court decision and its effects on access to MAB in California, visit: abortion.ca.gov, California's abortion resource website.
California’s Future of Abortion (FAB) Council Announces Bill Package
The California Future of Abortion (FAB) Council Steering Committee announced its support for a 17-bill legislative package introduced this session by the California Legislative Women's Caucus, which builds upon the recommendations put forth by the CA FAB Council.
As the House of Origin deadline, the chamber in which a piece of legislation originates, recently passed, 14 of the 17 introduced will be making their way into the second house.
To stay updated with the California Future of Abortion Council, check out www.cafabcouncil.org.
Legislative and State Budget Updates
Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California (PPAC) began 2023 with the following legislative priorities: protections for abortion providers, equity for medication abortion billing in Medi-Cal, patient privacy protections, behavioral health integration in reproductive health clinics, and improving maternal health outcomes.
The state office worked with legislative champions to introduce seven sponsored bills at the beginning of the year focused on our priorities. As of June 2, the house of origin deadline in the Legislature, six of our sponsored bills are still moving forward this legislative session, with one bill held in Assembly Appropriations due to costs. In addition, the California Future of Abortion (FAB Council) successfully ushered 14 of the 17 introduced bills to the second house, five of which are PPAC co-sponsored bills.
PPAC has supported over 80 bills through the Legislature this session, many of which are continuing through in the second house. Additionally, the four bills PPAC took an oppose position on this year died in the first house, before ever being heard in committee. PPAC continues to work with legislative staff, the CA FAB Council, and other stakeholders on legislation that affects Planned Parenthood’s mission or health center operations.
- SB 487 (Atkins) Protect California’s Reproductive Health Care Providers – Protects reproductive health care providers from adverse actions as the result of another state’s law restricting comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care. This bill ensures providers do not face adverse actions related to their ability to participate in public benefit programs or in health plan and insurance contracts due to enforcement of another state’s hostile law. Referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee
- AB 352 (Bauer-Kahan) Patient Privacy Protections – Enhances privacy protections for patients who access sensitive health care services in California by ensuring critical health information is not automatically shared with other states through health information exchange. Referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee
- AB 1646 (Nguyen) Facilitates Guest Rotations in Medical Residency Programs – Allows for residents from other states to participate in guest rotations in an approved postgraduate training program or an ACGME certified training site in California if the person has graduated from a medical school and is engaged in postgraduate training outside of California. Referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee
- AB 1707 (Pacheco) Reproductive Health Care Provider Protections – Enhances protections for reproductive health care providers from adverse actions as the result of another state’s law restricting comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care. This bill expands protections from automatic adverse action by a California licensing entity to all healing arts licensees, protects clinic and hospital licensure, and ensures hospital staff medical staff privileges cannot be denied or revoked based on enforcement of another state’s hostile law. Referred to the Appropriations Committee
- AB 576 (Weber) Medication Abortion Equity Act – Aligns medication abortion policies with clinical guidelines and evidence-based research. Requires the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) to update its Medi-Cal policies to support full reimbursement for the provision of medication abortion and ensure that patients that rely on Medi-Cal can access medication abortion in line with up-to-date clinical guidelines and peer-reviewed scientific evidence.
- Provide Ongoing Funding for Medi-Cal Abortion Equity and Infrastructure Payments. PPAC requests the renewal of the Equity and Infrastructure Fund. Budget Request: $15 Million Ongoing Referred to the Appropriations Committee in the suspense file
- AB 492 (Pellerin) Behavioral Health Integration in Reproductive Health Care Pilot
– Establishes two programs in the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) to improve patients’ access to mild-to-moderate behavioral health services. Referred to the Senate Health Committee
- AB 583 (Wicks) Invest in Efforts to Improve Health Care for Pregnant and Birthing People – Establishes a pilot program to provide grants to community-based doula groups and community-based organizations to provide full-spectrum doula care to ( women and birthing people whose communities suffer from disproportionately high rates of negative birth outcomes, but who are not eligible for Medi-Cal coverage; and incarcerated women and birthing people. This bill aims to address adverse maternal and infant health outcomes by expanding maternal health care to birthing people who experience disproportionately high negative birth outcomes and recognizes that all birthing people deserve dignity in birthing, including incarcerated people. Unfortunately held in Assembly Appropriations. We are looking at different ways to support doulas and doula programs and can continue to work on efforts in the budget process.
CA Future of Abortion Council Bills
- AB 254 (Bauer-Kahan) Confidentiality of Medical Information Act: reproductive or sexual health application information.
- AB 571 (Petrie-Norris) Medical malpractice insurance.
- AB 793 (Bonta) Privacy: reverse demands
- AB 1194 (Carrillo, Wendy) California Privacy Rights Act of 2020: exemptions: abortion services
- AB 1432 (Carrillo, Wendy) Health insurance: policy
- AB 1481 (Boerner Horvath) Medi-Cal: pregnant individuals or targeted low-income children.
- SB 385 (Atkins) Physician Assistant Practice Act: abortion by aspiration: training.
2022 was a critically important legislative year in California history for reproductive health care as California took a holistic response to the overturning of Roe and other states banning abortion access. The Legislature and Governor took imperative action to pass historic legislation and invest in reproductive health care, ensuring California remains a reproductive freedom state for all. This legislative package builds upon that and continues that necessary work.
In 2023, the landscape of proactive abortion legislation is booming with 30 states having filed more than 160 bills to protect and expand abortion access already, nearly three times the amount of proactive abortion legislation introduced by the end of January 2022. However, legislation attacking access to abortion continues to be equally popular with over 160 bills filed in 33 states that attack access to abortion. And furthermore, with access to abortion decimated across swaths of the country in the wake of the Dobbs decision, legislators are pivoting attacks to other areas of sexual and reproductive health care, targeting LGBTQ+ care, especially trans youth, and sexual and reproductive health care in schools in concerning numbers. Already 38 states have proposed anti-trans bills in 2023.
Governor Signs Budget Package
On July 10th, the Governor signed the remaining bills making up this year’s Budget Package. The package includes AB 102 and AB 118 which contain the following Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California budget priorities: MCO Tax Spend and Renewal, Funding for Medi-Cal Abortion Supplemental Payments, and funding to support the UCLA Center for Reproductive Health, Law and Policy.
Specifically, AB 102 includes one-time funding of $2 Million for the UCLA Center of Reproductive Health, Law, and Policy Center and $14.8 Million for supplemental payments for Medi-Cal abortions provided at community health clinics for an additional year, available through June, 2025.
Planned Parenthood supports ACA 5 (Asm. Low): Protecting Marriage Equality
In an effort to combat anti-LGBTQ+ hate and protect marriage equality, Assemblymember Evan Low and Senator Scott Wiener introduced ACA 5 – a constitutional amendment intended to protect same–sex marriage. This amendment would bring a 2024 ballot initiative to voters to remove anti-same sex marriage language from the California constitution.
Although marriage equality is currently protected by Judge Vaughn Walker’s 2010 ruling striking down Prop. 8 and the 2015 Supreme Court decision in Obergefell, it has become increasingly clear that The Supreme Court cannot be trusted to protect our civil rights and liberties. If the Court was willing to overturn five decades of precedent guaranteeing the right to abortion (as they did with the Dobbs decision last year), it cannot be assumed it will uphold less than a decade of precedence protecting marriage equality, particularly in light of statements made by Justices Thomas and Alito referring to Obergefell as a “problem” and “threat.”
While the recent passage of the Respect for Marriage Act was an important step forward — it requires the federal government to recognize same-sex and interracial marriages and affirms that states must recognize valid marriage licenses from other states – it does not require states to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Planned Parenthood Action Fund of the Pacific Southwest denounces attacks on LGBTQ+ people, and supports efforts to combat LGBTQ+ hate. Every person deserves to choose their own path to a healthy and meaningful life. We will never stop fighting for a safer, healthier, more just world.
To learn about how you can get involved, visit voteforchoice.org/getinvolved.