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California Passes Bill Forcing Pro-Life Centers to Push Abortion

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On Tuesday, the California State Assembly passed AB 775, known as the Reproductive Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care and Transparency (FACT) Act. Authored by Assemblymembers David Chiu (D-San Francisco) and Autumn Burke (D-Los Angeles), the bill states that the act “require a licensed covered facility, as defined, to disseminate a notice to all clients, as specified, stating, among other things, that California has public programs that provide immediate free or low-cost access to comprehensive family planning services, prenatal care, and abortion, for eligible women.”

Not only would the bill require some pregnancy centers, specifically those devoted to pro- life causes, to advertise the availability of abortion, but it would also fine facilities that do not comply. The bill states that it would “authorize the Attorney General, city attorney, or county counsel to bring an action to impose a specified civil penalty against covered facilities that fail to comply with these requirements.”

The California Family Alliance attacked the bill in April, writing:

“They are now pushing new discriminatory regulations that would force local Pregnancy Care Centers and Clinics (or PCCs, which provide free and confidential support services to pregnant mothers) to advertise and promote chemical and surgical abortions. Under the provisions of AB 775 (Chiu, D-San Francisco), PCC’s that provide medical services such as ultrasounds would be required to refer all clients to Medi-Cal programs that provide free abortions. In addition, any non-medical centers that offer free counseling, pregnancy support, and parenting classes would be required to post signage stating they are ‘not licensed facilities.’ Both types of PCCs would also be coerced to include such statements in all advertising.”

SB 775 was sponsored by Attorney General Kamala Harris, NARAL Pro-Choice California and Black Women for Wellness. 
A joint release from the office of Assemblymember David Chiu and NARAL Pro-Choice California, Harris was quoted saying, “California has been a national leader in promoting and protecting equal access to the full range of women’s reproductive health care options. The Reproductive FACT Act will ensure that women are empowered to make informed and timely decisions about their health and their bodies.”

Amy Everitt, state director of NARAL Pro-Choice California, echoed that statement, ‘Today, the Assembly sent a clear message that women deserve information to help them make the best health care decisions for themselves and their families. With this vote, California leaders are demonstrating to the rest of the country what it means to truly respect reproductive freedom and the dignity of women.”


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