Bill Expanding Access to Birth Control Awaits Governor’s Signature
AB 1264, authored by Orange County Assemblymember Petrie-Norris, Passes Both Houses with Overwhelming Bipartisan Support
SACRAMENTO – A bill that will expand access to birth control via telehealth awaits Governor Newsom’s signature after passing both the Assembly and Senate with strong bipartisan support. AB 1264, authored by Assemblymember Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach), clarifies vague telehealth law related to safely prescribing prescriptions and would allow Californians to access birth control prescriptions via a smartphone app.
“Birth control allows people to choose if and when to start a family and historically has afforded women more economic freedom,” said Assemblywoman Petrie-Norris. “It is paramount that women have access to the resources necessary to carefully plan a family as they see fit.”
With unintended pregnancies accounting for nearly half of pregnancies, it is crucial we continue to increase access to birth control. AB 1264 clarifies that an appropriate prior examination does not require a real time, synchronous visit between a patient and clinician, provided that it complies with the standard of care. Providers and medical experts have determined the requirement of a synchronous interaction is not always medically unnecessary and can cause an arbitrary barrier to receiving care.
“At a time when access to birth control is under attack on the national level, the California Legislature continues to stand up and show its support for protecting and expanding access to basic and essential reproductive health care needs,” said Jodi Hicks, Acting CEO/President of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California. “We applaud all the Assemblymembers and Senators who have supported this bill and thank Assemblymember Cottie Petrie-Norris for her leadership. This bill will ensure the virtual door remains open to address the unmet health care needs of thousands of patients in California who are seeking birth control.”
Planned Parenthood’s app, Planned Parenthood Direct, which offers birth control and UTI treatment, is now available in more than half the country — 27 states and the District of Columbia — and will be live in all 50 states by the end of 2020. The app is a convenient way for people to access high-quality sexual and reproductive health care from Planned Parenthood’s trusted, expert providers through a smartphone — no matter where they are.
AB 1264 is also supported by the California Medical Association and NARAL Pro-Choice California.
Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California (PPAC) is the state public policy office representing California’s seven separately incorporated Planned Parenthood affiliates. Through advocacy and electoral action, PPAC promotes sound public policy in areas of reproductive and preventive health care, family planning and comprehensive sexual health education.