March 8, 2023
Jennifer Wonnacott, VP of Communications & Campaigns
Bill Package Continues Path Forward to Reproductive Freedom for All in California
SACRAMENTO—Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California (PPAC) released its sponsored legislative package for the 2023 California Legislative Session. The legislation, currently seven bills, builds on the success of the prior year, in which a historic bill package protecting and expanding access to abortion and other sexual and reproductive health care was passed and signed into law.
“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 legal landscape and increased legal risks. 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. We cannot stop until we achieve reproductive freedom for all.”
PPAC is sponsoring five bills that seek to improve access to abortion and reproductive health care and ensure protections amidst the 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 from 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, to improve health outcomes for patients, PPAC is sponsoring two bills 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.”
2022 was a critically important legislative year in California history for reproductive health care as California took a holistic response to the overturning of Roe and other states banning abortion access. The Legislature and Governor took imperative action to pass historic legislation and invest in reproductive health care, ensuring California remains a reproductive freedom state for all. This legislative package builds upon that and continues that necessary work.
In 2023, the landscape of proactive abortion legislation is booming with 30 states having filed more than 160 bills to protect and expand abortion access already, nearly three times the amount of proactive abortion legislation introduced by the end of January 2022. However, legislation attacking access to abortion continues to be equally popular with over 160 bills filed in 33 states that attack access to abortion. And furthermore, with access to abortion decimated across swaths of the country in the wake of the Dobbs decision, legislators are pivoting attacks to other areas of sexual and reproductive health care, targeting LGBTQ+ care, especially trans youth, and sexual and reproductive health care in schools in concerning numbers. Already 38 states have proposed anti-trans bills in 2023.