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March 13, 2024

Jennifer Wonnacott

[email protected]

 

Bill Package Continues Critical Work to Protect and Expand Access to Reproductive Health Care Services and Inclusive Education and Care

 

SACRAMENTO—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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