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Senator McGuire Sworn In

On Monday, February 5, 2024, Senator Mike McGuire of Healdsburg took over as Democratic leader in the state Senate from Senator Toni Atkins of San Diego. As the next Senate president pro tem — a powerful role heading the upper chamber of the Legislature that gives him a direct hand in guiding budget and policy decisions for 39 million Californians 

Termed out of the Legislature in 2026, McGuire hails from a more rural, agricultural area of California – a shift in the epicenter of power.  Of the appointment, CEO and President of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, Jodi Hicks says:

“Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California congratulates Senator Mike McGuire on being sworn in as the 49th Senate President pro Tempore.

His time in the Senate has shown him to be a true problem solver, action oriented, and someone who is focused on delivering results for all who need help. Those traits and his values - and knowing that pro Tem McGuire is passionate about making sure that all Californians can access quality health care no matter who they are or where they live - makes us confident he will be a successful Senate leader.

Pro Tem McGuire has been a staunch supporter in the fight to protect and expand access to sexual and reproductive health care, including abortion, and we appreciate his commitment to ensuring California continues to prioritize that work. This focus is important now more than ever as we live up to our values and California continues to serve as a harbor for people across the nation seeking reproductive health and abortion. We look forward to working with him as our state continues the pursuit towards equitable and accessible health care for all.

And our deepest gratitude to Senator Atkins for her incredible and steadfast leadership on so many critical issues, but especially for always standing strong with Planned Parenthood. While she has always been a leader on sexual and reproductive health care issues, born from her very personal experiences, when Roe fell, we were incredibly fortunate to have such a committed leader in our corner. She stood strong as we faced the loss of the right to abortion, helping us reimagine what is possible for our communities, helping us shape a vision for California that centers those historically left behind and creating a more equitable health care landscape for all. From her leadership on historic legislative packages to being a co-chair on the hugely successful Prop 1 campaign, we are so grateful for her partnership. Senator Atkins has always exemplified what it means to be a true reproductive freedom champion.”

2024 Sponsored Legislative Package

Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California (PPAC) released its sponsored legislative package for the 2024 California Legislative Session. The legislation, currently seven bills, seeks to address barriers to essential health care and education, furthering California’s commitment to being a state where everyone can exercise their fundamental right to control their own bodies and make important medical decisions for themselves.

“State abortion bans, attempts to remove medication abortion from the market, and making it a crime to provide abortion care means millions of people cannot get the care they need right now across the country. Extreme lawmakers in other states are doing everything to take away control from people in making their own health care decisions,” said Jodi Hicks, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California. “But California is committed to being a reproductive freedom state and is leading the way in protecting and expanding access to sexual and reproductive health care in the face of attacks. Underscoring that commitment and at the heart of this year’s Planned Parenthood legislative package is the idea that everyone – no matter where they live or how much money they make or what they look like – deserves access to health care without barriers or political roadblocks.”

Continued action to protect reproductive freedom and improve access to sexual and reproductive health care is crucial as we continue to deal with the impacts of a post-Dobbs reality. These legislative proposals seek to deliver on California’s commitment as a Reproductive Freedom State:

SB 1131 (Gonzalez) Streamline Family Planning Program Requirements – Addresses impediments to the Family PACT program to improve and streamline the ability for health care providers to serve California’s Family PACT patients. (Sponsors: PPAC, California Academy of PAs)

AB 2339 (Aguiar-Curry) Improve Access to Telehealth – Expand Medi-Cal coverage of asynchronous telehealth services and addresses barriers to accessing care via health care mobile apps and other asynchronous modalities. (Sponsors: PPAC, National Health Law Program (NHeLP))

AB 2085 (Bauer-Kahan) Facilitate Health Center Permitting – Prohibits municipal interference with the delivery of constitutionally protected health care services by establishing a streamlined ministerial approval process for development of new health centers. (Sponsors: PPAC, Reproductive Freedom for All, Training in Early Abortion for Comprehensive Healthcare (TEACH))

AB 2099 (Bauer-Kahan) Protecting Reproductive Health Clinics – Strengthens enforcement of the FACE Act when use of force, threat of force, or bodily injury takes place.

AB 492 (Pellerin) Behavioral Health Integration in Reproductive Health Clinics – 2 Year Bill – Requires DHCS to provide grants and incentive payments for Medi-Cal Managed Care Plans and Providers to develop and implement reproductive and behavioral health integration pilot programs.

Additionally, LGBTQ+ individuals, especially Transgender, Gender Diverse and Intersex (TGI) individuals, are facing an alarming rise in discrimination and violence, fueled by misinformation and political attacks. Led by many of the same extremists that seek to ban abortion access, states are passing legislation targeting trans youth, including bans on gender-affirming care. These proposals seek to promote access to education and expand the availability of inclusive and medically accurate resources and care:

SB 959 (Menjivar) Ensure Comprehensive Access to Information – Establishes an online resource that offers information to patients, health care providers, and families about available support for TGI individuals and their families in California. (Sponsors: PPAC, Equality California)

AB 2442 (Zbur) Expedite Licensure for Providers committed to Gender-Affirming Care – Ensures that licensure applications for providers of gender-affirming care are prioritized to ensure a robust network of providers in the state. (Sponsors: PPAC, Equality California)

“Planned Parenthood strives every day to provide compassionate, non-judgmental and inclusive care, including gender affirming care, to all who need it. These bills are part of a larger effort to make sure all TGI people, especially youth, have access to comprehensive, whole-person health-related education and health care in a dignified and affirming environment,” added Hicks. “Ultimately, PPAC’s whole legislative package is aimed at protecting everyone’s fundamental right to control their own bodies and make their own personal decisions about their unique circumstances.”

California continues to do the work necessary to implement expansive legislation that has been passed in recent years to protect and expand access to sexual and reproductive health care and pass new legislation to ensure the state continues to live up to the ideals of being a reproductive freedom state.

In the first two months of 2024, over 325 bills attacking abortion access were filed across 40 states and there are currently 522 anti-trans bills being tracked across the country.

In addition to state legislation, the fight for access to safe and effective abortion and sexual and reproductive health care is at a critical moment with a series of cases before the U.S. Supreme Court that relate to: 

Access to mifepristone, the drug commonly used for medication abortion (FDA v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine); and

Access to abortion as emergency health care under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) (Moyle v. United States/Idaho v. United States)

These attacks are a part of a coordinated effort by abortion opponents to undermine people’s bodily autonomy and ability to receive the best health care possible. Planned Parenthood in California continues to do everything possible, like the 2024 legislative package, to show up, protect, and expand access to essential health care.


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