DATE: April 5, 2021
Contact: Elizabeth Wells, Communications Manager
(916) 233-3760, [email protected]
Top Legislative and State Budget Priorities will be Included on Legislative Scorecard
CALIFORNIA – Today, Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California (PPAC) announced the organization’s top legislative and state budget priorities for the 2021-22 legislative session, which will be reflected on the 2021 Legislative Scorecard.
“As a Reproductive Freedom state, California has long been a leader in enacting legislation that protects and expands reproductive rights,” said Jodi Hicks, President/CEO of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California. “But we know rights are meaningless without equitable access to care, and we need to work to expand access so that reproductive freedom is a reality for every person. That’s why today we’re excited to announce our top legislative priorities and launch our 2021 Legislative Scorecard, which is premised on addressing inequities within our health care system by breaking down barriers to care, protecting patient and provider safety and security, and expanding access to care.”
PPAC is sponsoring or co-sponsoring the following legislation this legislative session:
- AB 32 (Aguiar-Curry) Telehealth: Expanding Healthcare Accessibility. Ensures Californians will have continued equal access to telehealth after the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. Maintains payment parity in Medi-Cal for audio and video telehealth visits and remote enrollment into Medi-Cal programs like FamilyPACT, PE4PW, EWC, and Medi-Cal Minor Consent.
- SB 245 (Gonzalez) Abortion Accessibility Act. Increases abortion access by prohibiting California-licensed health plans and insurers from applying patient cost-sharing (including deductibles, copayments, or coinsurance) to abortion and abortion-related services.
- AB 1184 (Chiu) Confidential Health Information. Expands California’s existing patient protections to ensure information about any sensitive services is sent only to the patient, not to any other health plan subscribers such as a parent or spouse.
- AB 1356 (Bauer-Khan) Health Center Safety & Security. Protects reproductive health care employees, providers, volunteers and patients by updating and strengthening the FACE Act. Also prohibits malicious videography and photography on reproductive health center premises to protect the privacy and safety of reproductive health center patients, providers, staff, and volunteers.
The legislative scorecard will include these bills and additional bills could be included further along in the policy process. PPAC will also be scoring state budget priorities that relate to protecting and expanding audio and video telehealth visits, preventing Medi-Cal lab rate cuts (“clawbacks”) during the STI epidemic, and continuing Proposition 56 investment in California’s public health programs.
“COVID-19 has laid bare the inequities in our health care system. We’ve seen how Black, Latino, AAPI, and Indigenous people and other people of color, as well as people with low-incomes, have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic at the same time being forced to navigate a system of racist and discriminatory policies,” added Hicks. “We look forward to continue working with the Legislature and our partners to not only protect and expand health care access, but to advance policies that create a world in which we have full control over our health, our bodies, and our lives.”
Along with the sponsored and co-sponsored legislation, PPAC is also monitoring legislation that addresses inequities within California’s institutions that intersect with reproductive freedom and health care access—such as legislation relating to racial justice, criminal justice, and immigrants’ rights.
Planned Parenthood affiliates in California have an important role in California’s public health care system. With over 100 health center locations serving every California county, Planned Parenthood’s health centers offer access to preventive and whole person care including birth control, cancer screenings, STI testing, gender-affirming care, and abortion.