Statewide Legislative Report
By Karen @ Planned Parenthood Action Fund | April 11, 2023, 7 a.m.
Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California Announces 2023 Legislative Package
Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California (PPAC) released its sponsored legislative package for the 2023 California Legislative Session. The legislation builds on last year’s legislative success – including the passage of a historic bill package and significant investments in sexual and reproductive health care for Californians.
“Even prior to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2022 Dobbs decision, many people faced barriers to accessing abortion care. In the wake of that decision, abortion patients, providers, and those who support and assist them face additional barriers, including an uncertain and risky legal landscape. The Planned Parenthood legislative package envisions what a post-Roe world must look like,” said Jodi Hicks, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California. “Continued action to protect reproductive freedom and bodily autonomy is crucial as we deal with the impacts of a post-Dobbs reality, and what’s more, extremists across the country will stop at nothing to restrict or outright ban access to abortion, birth control, gender-affirming care, and other essential forms of health care. Planned Parenthood, legislators, and our partners cannot stop until we achieve reproductive freedom for all.”
This year, PPAC is sponsoring five bills that seek to continue to improve access to abortion and reproductive health care, and ensure protections amidst a shifting legal landscape. The bill package includes the following legislation:
- 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.
- AB 352 (Bauer-Kahan) Protect Patient Privacy and Confidentiality – 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Additionally, PPAC is sponsoring two bills that will improve health outcomes for patients, to ensure that community-based health centers are equipped to expand services related to behavioral health care and maternal health care:
- 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.
- 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.
“PPAC is proud to put forth this package of legislation in partnership with legislative authors who understand that despite the incredible progress California has made, there is still more work to be done,” continued Hicks. “These bills, coupled with what the Future of Abortion Council and other key allies will support this year, will continue to provide a roadmap for what states can do. We must reimagine what is possible for our communities—and a vision for the future that centers those historically left behind will create a more equitable health care landscape for all.”
While 2022 was a critically important legislative year in California history for reproductive health care, the 2023 legislative package solidifies that there is still much work to be done to ensure that all people have access to the health care they need and deserve.
Every day, people across the country – and even here in California – continue to face life-altering barriers to care. We will never stop fighting until all people can fully decide what’s best for their health, lives, and futures. To read the FAB Council’s recommendations in more detail, click here.