We have been hard at work to expand and protect access to sexual and reproductive health care throughout the state of California. Below is a summary of some of the latest statewide developments.
New Laws to Know About
In September, Governor Newsom signed key pieces of legislation that will strengthen access to reproductive health care and better protect patients and providers. Below is a summary of these important bills:
AB 1356 will increase protections, both online and at health care facilities, for patients seeking reproductive health care services by increasing penalties for current crimes under the California Freedom of Access to Clinic Act and updating online privacy laws and training related to anti-reproduction-rights offenses.
AB 1184 protects the privacy rights of people receiving sensitive health care services, such as reproductive health care and gender-affirming hormone therapy by ensuring patient information is kept confidential if they are not the primary policyholder for their health insurance.
SB 65 will require research and review on pregnancy related deaths and maternal morbidity in California, convenes a workgroup to examine the implementation of the Medi-Cal doula benefit, and enacts the Midwifery Workforce Training Act.
SB 306 permits pharmacists to dispense drugs for sexually transmitted diseases, without the name of the individual for who the drug is intended when prescribed to their sexual partner, requires syphilis blood tests during the third trimester of pregnancy and at delivery, and requires the public and commercial health coverage of home STD test kits. This bill also adds rapid STD tests to existing law, allowing HIV counselors to perform rapid HIV and Hep C tests.
AB 118 will enact the Community Response Initiative to Strengthen Emergency Systems Act or the C.R.I.S.E.S. Act for the purpose of creating, implementing, and evaluating the 3-year C.R.I.S.E.S. Grant Pilot Program, which the act will establish. The bill requires the office to establish rules and regulations for the program with the goal of making grants to community organizations, for the purpose of expanding the participation of community organizations in emergency response for specified vulnerable populations.
We are grateful to Governor Newsom and our committed partners in the California legislature for standing with Planned Parenthood and defending people’s fundamental right to choose what is best for them and their families.
Future of Abortion Council Created
ACCESS REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE, Black Women for Wellness Action Project, NARAL Pro-Choice California, National Health Law Program (NHeLP), and Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, along with Governor Newsom, some members of the California legislature, and other members of the California Coalition for Reproductive Freedom, created a team of advocates and experts to reinforce California’s critical role in offering sexual and reproductive health care, including abortion following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to allow Texas’ S.B. 8 to go into effect.
The “California Future of Abortion Council” (CA FAB) is comprised of reproductive freedom and sexual and reproductive health care allies, partners, and leaders. The CA FAB Council will work in collaboration with researchers, advocates, policy makers, providers, patients, and key constituents to determine potential challenges in the state and recommend solutions that will continue to provide stability and sanctuary for both Californians and those who may seek services here from out of state. This council will create a blueprint outlining California’s next steps and determine how expanding access to abortion care could impact services and resources.