California Future of Abortion Council Releases Update to Historic Report on Protecting and Expanding Access to Abortion
December 12, 2022
26 Recommendations Enacted in 2022; 16 New Recommendations Announced
CA FAB Council Expands Membership Heading into 2023-2024 Legislative Session
CALIFORNIA – The California Future of Abortion Council (CA FAB Council), comprised of elected leaders and more than 40 organizations across California, released an update to its historic report, highlighting new policy recommendations state leaders and lawmakers can pursue to continue to increase access to safe, equitable, and affordable abortion care during the 2023-2024 legislative session. The update includes an opening note from Steering Committee member Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins and a letter from California Attorney General Rob Bonta, a member of the CA FAB Council.
“We secured many victories in 2022, but there is still work to be done. The Future of Abortion Council, in partnership with the Legislature, can focus on implementation of critical policies that will continue to protect and expand reproductive health care access in our state,” said Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego). “Though the outlook on abortion and reproductive care in America is grim, I am deeply proud of the work we have done in California to protect our reproductive rights and help all those who have had their rights eroded by their home states. The Future of Abortion Council is integral to that work, and my colleagues and I look forward to our continued partnership.”
The update comes nearly six months after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization and one year after the CA FAB Council released its historic report. Recommendations outlined in the initial report led to the California Legislature passing 15 bills - the largest pro-abortion bill package in the history of the United States - and more than $200 million in new investments to protect and expand access to abortion and other sexual and reproductive health care services in California. The CA FAB Council’s work also paved the way for the overwhelming passage of Proposition 1 this November, which amended the state constitution to explicitly enshrine the right to abortion and use and refuse birth control and will protect access to reproductive care statewide for generations to come.
Altogether, the CA FAB Council accomplished more than 25 recommendations out of 45 recommendations put forward in last year’s report.
This update announced today builds on the report issued last December, accounting for new hostile actions taken by extreme politicians seeking to implement dangerous restrictions or outright bans in other states with the goal of punishing patients and providers and forcing people to seek wanted health care outside of their community and state. Additionally, the report provides a further roadmap for California leaders to continue our national leadership as a Reproductive Freedom State, as proclaimed by Governor Gavin Newsom.
“The Legislative Women’s Caucus was proud to join with the CA FAB Council’s historic work last year in response to the overturning of Roe v Wade,” said state Senator Nancy Skinner, Chair of the Legislative Women’s Caucus. “With Governor Newsom’s signature, the FAB council and Women’s Caucus bills containing first-in-the-nation protections that ensure our state remains a beacon of hope across the country, providing accessible and affordable abortion care, and leading the nation in this moment of crisis. We look forward to continuing this critical work in the upcoming legislative session. Hostile attacks by extreme politicians continue, so it is essential we keep pursuing paths forward that build on our successes and provide much needed reassurance to patients and providers.”
This fall and winter, members of the CA FAB Council met to identify 16 additional recommendations California policymakers can pursue in the upcoming legislative session to achieve the CA FAB Council’s seven overarching areas of focus (in no particular order):
- Increase investments in abortion funds, direct practical support, and infrastructure to support patients seeking abortion care.
- Ensure cost is not a barrier to care and reimbursement for abortion and abortion-related services is adequate and timely.
- Invest in a diverse California abortion provider workforce and increase training opportunities for BIPOC and others historically excluded from health care professions.
- Reduce administrative and institutional barriers to abortion care.
- Strengthen legal protections for abortion patients, providers, and supporting organizations and individuals.
- Meaningfully address misinformation and disinformation and ensure that access to medically accurate, culturally relevant and inclusive education about abortion and access to care is widely and equitably available.
- Support efforts to collect data, conduct research, and distribute reports to assess and information abortion care and education needs in California.
The Steering Committee of the CA FAB Council, comprised of ACCESS REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE, Black Women for Wellness Action Project, Essential Access Health, NARAL Pro-Choice California, National Health Law Program, Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, and TEACH (Training in Early Abortion for Comprehensive Healthcare), has expanded to include California Latinas for Reproductive Justice (CLRJ) and the California Coalition for Reproductive Freedom (CCRF). The CA FAB Council membership has also grown over the past year with 13 new organizations participating in the meetings and discussions that informed the additional recommendations put forth in the update.
The CA FAB Council will continue to work with state and local leadership to expand on the historic success of the 2022 legislative session and 2022 midterm elections to ensure California continues to provide abortion and other sexual and reproductive health care equitably and that these essential services are accessible to all who seek care here.
Continued action to protect reproductive freedom and bodily autonomy is crucial as attacks become more frequent and increasingly more harmful as extreme politicians attempt to “out-do” one another for personal political gains from a super-minority of right-wing extremists. According to the Guttmacher Institute, since the Dobbs decision, 66 clinics across 15 states have been forced to stop offering abortion care, and 26 have shut down entirely. And as of December 9, 2022, 18 states have either completely eliminated access to abortion or restricted it severely. That is only likely to increase as hostile states come back into session for the first time post-Dobbs. These attacks have led to providers across California seeing an increase in patients traveling from out-of-state, a trend likely to continue.
Quotes from CA Future of Abortion Council Steering Committee
ACCESS REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE Interim Executive Director Quita Tinsley Peterson said:
The right to abortion means nothing to our communities without the tangible resources and infrastructure to make access to abortion a reality. ACCESS REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE is honored to participate in the California Future of Abortion Council and lead the work to ensure Californians and those forced to travel here for abortion access have real pathways to the care they need and want. We are so proud to work in collaboration with fellow organizations, legislators, and community members to ensure California is a true reproductive freedom state. The policy recommendations made in the FAB Council report are a continuation of the investment our state is making filling the gaps in abortion access that exist for Californians and those in our sibling states.
Black Women for Wellness Action Project Policy Analyst Onyemma Obiekea said:
In the face of the unrelenting assaults on our basic human rights and dignity, California advocates and policymakers have responded with a historic legislative package and investments that reflect a commitment to ensuring that everyone can realize the full scope of their reproductive rights. As a co-convenor of the CA FAB Council, Black Women for Wellness Action Project is proud of our coalition's leadership and contribution to the work of securing reproductive freedom for everyone in our state. This update outlines additional strategies and policy solutions that would build upon the successes of the last session and move us closer toward a world where individuals are truly free to determine if, when and how to have a family.
California Coalition for Reproductive Freedom Project Director Nakia Woods
Coalition work has always been key to the liberation of all peoples and we have seen this through the transformative work we have done with the Future of Abortion Council in just under a year of organizing. The breadth of work our organizations specialize in allows us to take an intersectional approach to support California in becoming a reproductive freedom state while encompassing the fullness of Reproductive Justice.
California Latinas for Reproductive Justice Executive Director Laura Jimenez said:
“California Latinas for Reproductive Justice (CLRJ) is thrilled to be joining the California Future of Abortion Council Steering Committee. As a reproductive justice organization we are committed to building a future where the human right to bodily autonomy for all people is recognized, supported, and respected. Where our ability to make decisions about our own bodies and families can be made freely, without barriers to accessing the healthcare we need, and where our families and communities are free from reproductive oppression.”
Essential Access Health’s Co-CEO + Chief External Affairs Officer Amy Moy said:
Abortion is essential health care and access is fundamental for individual, family, and community health and economic security. The stark reality is that we now live in the “divided states of America,” where the ability to obtain a safe and legal abortion and the right to bodily autonomy has been stripped away from millions across the country - disproportionately harming youth, people with low-incomes, communities of color, and individuals living in rural regions. In California we have an opportunity - and an obligation - to continue to explore and pursue every option available to ensure that anyone seeking abortion services within our borders can get the care they want, when and where they need it. We have a roadmap for the work ahead and we look forward to partnering with our elected leaders to build on our successes to date and take meaningful action this legislative session to meet this moment and lead the nation in safeguarding and expanding access to abortion.
NARAL Pro-Choice California Director Shannon Olivieri Hovis said:
At a time when extremist, anti-choice lawmakers across the country are trying to destroy our basic freedoms—including reproductive freedom—California is leading the way with vision and commitment. Together, we made sure that the 2022 California legislative session was one for the history books for abortion rights and access. As we look ahead to 2023, NARAL Pro-Choice California's over 371,000 members stand ready to build on our momentum and fearlessness, to make sure California leads with its values as a Reproductive Freedom state.
National Health Law Program Director of Reproductive and Sexual Health Fabiola Carrión said:
Over the past year, dedicated advocates crafted and worked with policymakers to pass crucial legislation which ensures that abortion isn't just legal in California – but also accessible, affordable, and supported for all Californians and anyone who comes to our state seeking abortion care. Notably, the bills passed this year center the needs of people already experiencing barriers to abortion access, particularly Black, Indigenous, and other people of color, people with disabilities, people in rural areas, young people, immigrants, and those having difficulty making ends meet. I am proud of what we have already accomplished and eager to build upon that success in our pursuit of health equity and racial, reproductive, and economic justice for all people in California and beyond.
Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California President and CEO Jodi Hicks said:
As extreme politicians enact dangerous restrictions or outright bans on abortion services across the country, California’s continued leadership is essential during this national crisis. Coming off a midterm election that saw abortion rights win regardless of state politics, it is critical leaders continue to make progress towards actualizing our commitment to reproductive freedom.
We hope this new, groundbreaking work, will provide California leaders at every level, the information and resources needed to build on the successes of 2022 and further push our state towards a more equitable and accessible health care system, including abortion.
To people across the country, know this: The more than 100 Planned Parenthood health centers throughout California will continue to provide care to people regardless of where they call home – just as they have always done.
TEACH (Training in Early Abortion for Comprehensive Healthcare) Executive Director Flor Hunt said:
This year, SCOTUS made one of our worst fears a reality by overturning Roe v. Wade and ending federal protections for abortion rights nationwide. As we witnessed half the country being stripped of its human right to reproductive freedom and bodily autonomy, California led the way and demonstrated how prioritizing reproductive freedom delivers tangible progress for communities across our state. Together, we made historic strides to further strengthen California’s status as a true Reproductive Freedom state–where abortion care is accessible and equitable, and where we invest in developing and sustaining the strongest reproductive health workforce in the country. TEACH is proud to work side by side with the Future of Abortion Council to achieve reproductive freedom for communities in California and beyond.
Jen Wonnacott, Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California
Andy DiAntonio, National Health Law Program
Ally Boguhn, NARAL Pro-Choice California
The “California Future of Abortion Council” (CA FAB Council) is comprised of reproductive freedom and sexual and reproductive health care allies, partners, and leaders. The CA FAB Council works in collaboration with policymakers, researchers, advocates, providers, patients, and key constituents to determine potential challenges in the state and recommend solutions that will continue to provide access and stability for both Californians and those who may seek services here from out of state. The CA FAB Council allows for those dedicated to protecting reproductive rights and expanding access to sexual and reproductive health care to come together. Learn more here.