SACRAMENTO – The California Legislative Women’s Caucus and the California Future of Abortion Council today announced their 2023 bill package on reproductive justice and abortion rights. The package includes 17 pieces of legislation that will expand access to reproductive health care and strengthen California’s standing as a safe haven for abortion, contraception, and pregnancy care.
The bill package comes in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision last year overturning Roe and the subsequent illegalization of abortion and denial of reproductive rights in numerous states. This is the second year in which the Legislative Women’s Caucus has partnered with the CA FAB Council on a reproductive rights bill package.
Fourteen bills in last year’s package became law, including a Constitutional Amendment guaranteeing access to abortion and contraception that was overwhelmingly approved by California voters in November. In addition, the Women’s Caucus and the FAB Council were successful in securing a record $200-plus million in the 2022-23 state budget to expand and strengthen access to reproductive health care and abortion services.
“The Legislative Women’s Caucus is honored to be partnering with the CA FAB Council for the second year in a row on bold legislation that will further solidify California’s position as a beacon for reproductive freedom,” said state Senator Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, chair of the Legislative Women’s Caucus. “These are dark times, with women in many states being stripped of their bodily autonomy, including being forced to experience severe and unnecessary medical hardships. California will remain a light of hope, a safe haven for abortion and contraception and a fierce protector of the right to control our own bodies.”
“Last year’s package of bills coupled with California’s unprecedented budget actions represented a watershed moment in California herstory. And we’re not done, not by a long shot,” Sen. Skinner added. “This year’s package will ensure that California remains a national leader in the fight for women’s reproductive justice. Our bills will advance that mission by further expanding reproductive services and protecting California medical providers and residents, and safeguarding people who come here to escape draconian laws.”
“Last year, the Legislative Women's Caucus rose to the occasion, and we are not standing down until a woman’s reproductive health and abortion rights stop being attacked. If the Supreme Court once again acts to attack our reproductive freedom, it will be another devastating blow to the health and well-being of people across the nation,” said Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, D-Winters, vice chair of the Legislative Women’s Caucus. “The Court and states wanting to intrude on a person's reproductive health has proven this is not a fight we can win by focusing solely within California’s borders. We made a long-standing promise to be a refuge state for anyone seeking an abortion and we intend to keep it.”
“This is a comprehensive bill package that will help California stay ahead of the curve and continue to withstand assaults at the national level on reproductive care,” Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins, D-San Diego. “Last year, we enacted more than a dozen bills and budget funding to expand and protect reproductive rights and services in our state. This year, we are building on that momentum, from legislation that further reduces barriers to care to my own bill, SB 385, which aims to expand training for physician assistants to provide first trimester abortions, and SB 487, which seeks to bolster safeguards for California abortion providers serving people from other states. I’m deeply appreciative to the Legislative Women’s Caucus and the Future of Abortion Council for our continued partnership — together, we are making sure that equitable and affordable access to reproductive care is a reality in California.”
“Following the Dobbs decision, California has seen an influx of people being forced to travel into the state for abortion care. This forced travel creates financial and logistical hurdles designed to push care further and further out of reach for people. In California, we’ve done remarkable work to increase access, however we must be honest that barriers have existed long before 2022,” said Jessica Pinckney, Executive Director, ACCESS Reproductive Justice, and a member of the CA FAB Council Steering Committee. “We must continue making strides towards abolishing barriers to care and increasing access for people living in and traveling to California. We are so proud of the work that we have done, along with our FAB Council partners and legislative supporters. This is one more step towards making reproductive freedom a reality for all.”
Here is this year’s bill package:
- AB 90 (Petrie-Norris) Improves access to long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) for those seeking abortion services.
- AB 254 (Bauer-Kahan) Adds CMIA/HIPAA protections for data collected by menstrual, fertility, and sexual health apps and websites.
- AB 352 (Bauer-Kahan) Enhances privacy protections for medical records related to abortion, pregnancy loss, and other sensitive services through electronic health record sharing and health information exchanges.
- AB 571 (Petrie-Norris) Ensures that medical malpractice insurance includes coverage for comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care.
- AB 576 (Weber) Aligns Medi-Cal coverage of medication abortion with evidence-based clinical guidelines.
- AB 598 (Wicks) Requires school districts to participate in the California Healthy Kids Survey (CHKS) and include a module on sexual and reproductive health care as one of the core survey modules.
- AB 710 (Schiavo) Launches a public information campaign to provide women with accurate information regarding access to abortion care at crisis pregnancy centers.
- AB 793 (Bonta) Provides privacy protections for digital data related to patients accessing abortion services in California.
- AB 1194 (Carrillo) Ensures that California Privacy Rights Act protections always extend to accessing, procuring, or searching for services regarding contraception, pregnancy care, and perinatal care, including abortion services.
- AB 1432 (Carrillo) Requires every health insurance policy or certificate that is issued, or delivered to a resident of California, regardless of the situs of the contract, to comply with California laws that require coverage of abortion services and gender-affirming care.
- AB 1481 (Boerner-Horvath) Clarifies Presumptive Eligibility for Pregnant Individuals (currently called PE4PW) coverage policies and ensures PE4PW patients can access abortion services regardless of other health coverage.
- AB 1646 (Nguyen) Expands access to abortion and gender-affirming care by allowing out-of-state medical school graduates to practice in California for up 90 days.
- AB 1707 (Pacheco) Provider Protections
- SB 36 (Skinner) Strengthens safe haven protections by making it illegal for bail agents or bounty hunters to apprehend people in California and protect access to public benefits.
- SB 345 (Skinner) Provides legal protections for medication abortions and gender-affirming care.
- SB 385 (Atkins) Seeks to extend many of the updated training rules from SB 1375 last year to additional providers (i.e. physician assistants, etc.)
- SB 487 (Atkins) Provides additional safeguards for California abortion providers and other entities and individuals that serve and support abortion patients that reside in states with hostile abortion laws.
Other members of the Legislature have introduced or plan to introduce additional legislation on reproductive justice and abortion rights that the Women’s Caucus and the FAB Council look forward to also supporting.
Please see the attached for additional quotes from bill authors, Women’s Caucus members, and CA FAB Council members.