Assembly Passes Important Bill to Strengthen Reproductive Health Center Security
Date: June 2, 2021
Contact: Jennifer Wonnacott, [email protected]
AB 1356 will Help Keep Patients and Providers Safe
SACRAMENTO – In an important step towards strengthening security at reproductive health centers to keep patients and providers safe, the Assembly passed AB 1356 (Bauer-Kahan) today.
AB 1356 updates and strengthens the Freedom to Access Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act and prohibits malicious videography and photography to protect the privacy and safety of reproductive health center patients, providers, staff, and volunteers.
“Reproductive health center providers and staff, and the patients they serve deserve to feel safe. We thank the Assembly for passing and Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan for authoring AB 1356 to strengthen reproductive health center security laws to protect patients and providers, both at the health centers and online,” said PPAC CEO and President Jodi Hicks.
Acts of violence and harassment against abortion providers have persisted for decades. This year alone, Planned Parenthood affiliates across the state have seen the need for additional safety and security measures as the rise in aggressive tactics and lack of retribution for those tactics prevail.
The priority at Planned Parenthood is to ensure patients can safely access the sexual and reproductive health care services they need. Despite existing laws, California’s reproductive health care clinics, including Planned Parenthood and independent clinics continue to face serious protest and anti-abortion extremist activity that threatens the safety of patients, providers, staff, and volunteers and interferes with health center operations.
AB 1356 will ensure offenders of the FACE Act are held accountable for the fear and harassment they inflict. This bill will also expand online privacy laws to keep reproductive health care workers and patients safe from online harassment and prevent the sharing of personal information.
Violence and harassment at abortion providers have increased with the rise of far-right extremism and the internet. AB 1356 increases legal protections for providers and patients commensurate with the risks they face. It preempts escalations in extremist violence, and protects the rights of vulnerable individuals seeking basic, necessary healthcare.
AB 1356 passed the Assembly on a 49-11 vote and will now go to the Senate.