Flood of ‘Reproductive Health’ Bills in California Is Part of Abortion Lobby Wish List

A billboard advertising abortion services in California popped up on Gervais Street in Col
Zak Koeske/The State/Tribune News Service via Getty Images, David McNew/Getty Images

Democrat lawmakers in California introduced a 17-bill package last week aimed at making the state an “abortion haven” — but those bills are just part of a larger 45-policy wish list being pushed by the abortion lobby.

The 45-policy wish list is the creation of the California Future of Abortion Council (CA FAB Council), whose steering committee members include Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, NARAL Pro-Choice California, California Coalition for Reproductive Freedom, the Office of Sen. Toni Atkins, Training in Early Abortion for Comprehensive Healthcare, and others, according to the council’s website. The California Legislative Women’s Caucus, which introduced the 17-bill package, worked in partnership with the CA FAB Council and is partnering with them for the second year in a row.

The CA FAB Council says it released a blueprint outlining 45 policy recommendations for lawmakers in December of 2021 to “better prepare California as the threat to abortion rights and access continues to grow.” The council convened again in the fall and winter of 2022 following the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision to “review California’s progress in implementing its 2021 recommendations” and add additional policy recommendations. Lawmakers have built on those recommendations, passing at least 14 bills last year, including a constitutional amendment codifying abortion on demand in the state — and are now adding 17 more to the pile.

The CA FAB Council’s website features a list of all of their recommended abortion policies and details whether they have been signed into law or are in progress in the state legislature. These policies set by the abortion lobby are overtly aimed at expanding the abortion business overall, limiting or silencing pro-life views, especially pro-life pregnancy resource centers, appealing to women in states with strong pro-life laws, and influencing young people to embrace abortion as a normal pregnancy outcome.

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 2: Lisa Navarro marches to denounce the U.S. Supreme Court decision to end federal abortion rights protections on July 2, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. The Supreme Court's decision in the Dobbs v Jackson Women's Health overturned the landmark 50-year-old Roe v Wade case. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

Lisa Navarro marches to denounce the U.S. Supreme Court decision to end federal abortion rights protections on July 2, 2022, in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

Some proposed legislation expands on existing efforts to increase the number of healthcare workers in the state who are legally allowed to perform abortions. Last year, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law a bill allowing qualified nurse practitioners and certified nurse-midwives to perform first-trimester abortions without physician supervision. A bill sponsored this year, AB 1646, would “expand access to abortion and gender-affirming care by allowing out-of-state medical school graduates to practice in California for up to 90 days,” according to the caucus. Both policies are recommended by the CA FAB Council.

Another proposed bill from the council’s wish list is AB 598, which builds on comprehensive sexual health education in the state. Under the bill, students would be given a physical or digital resource detailing local abortion resources. The resource would provide information about obtaining abortions during different stages of pregnancy, methods, and medical risks and would discuss “community attitudes toward reproductive care with an emphasis on positive community tenets such as inclusivity and support in conversations surrounding abortion and contraception.”

Another concerning bill, which has not been fully written yet, is AB 710. This bill would create a public information campaign likely smearing pro-life pregnancy centers. The bill’s author told the Los Angeles Times that “when women need access to healthcare, it’s critical that the information they get is factual and providers have best interests in mind, not an agenda to discourage you from seeking an abortion.”

AB 710 is also part of the Future of Abortion Council’s 2021 report, which states that lawmakers should “Meaningfully Address Misinformation and Disinformation and Ensure that Access to Medically Accurate, Culturally Relevant and Inclusive Education About Abortion and Access to Care is Widely and Equitably Available.” That report cites another 2021 report from the California Women’s Law Center, which recommends several restrictions on crisis pregnancy centers, including prohibiting them from sharing information the state deems misleading or false and barring state funding from going to the centers.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom, right, takes selfies with supporters at a turn out and vote YES on Proposition 1 rally at Long Beach City College in Long Beach, Calif., Nov. 6, 2022. Abortion rights supporters won in the four states where access was on the ballot Tuesday, as voters enshrined it into the state constitution in battleground Michigan as well as blue California and Vermont and dealt a defeat to an anti-abortion measure in deep-red Kentucky. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

California Gov. Gavin Newsom at a turn out and vote YES on Proposition 1 rally at Long Beach City College in Long Beach, CA, Nov. 6, 2022. Abortion rights supporters won in the four states where access was on the ballot Tuesday. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

The Women’s Caucus notably stated that, besides the 17-bill package, “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.” A look back to the council’s wish list lends a clue as to where California Democrats are headed next after the 17-bill blitzkrieg against the unborn.

Unfulfilled items quoted from the council’s wish list include but are not limited to:

  • Require primary care and family medicine graduate programs to provide training in miscarriage management, medication abortion, and aspiration abortion. …

  • Assess and address gaps in abortion access in areas of the state that are served primarily by religiously affiliated hospitals. …

  • Protect Californians from third-party enforcement of abortion restrictions at the local level.

  • Repeal invalidated law requiring parental consent for abortion services. …

  • Provide grants to implement and/or re-introduce medication abortion in clinics. …

  • The Administration should explore mechanisms, including working with other states, for California providers to offer MAB services to patients who reside in another state using telehealth. …

  • Address existing barriers to abortion care later in pregnancy. There must be clear and consistent guidance, including but not limited to licensing boards, regarding existing protections under the Reproductive Privacy Act to address disparities in how the law is interpreted by various health care institutions across the state and ensure that institutions do not impose unnecessary restrictions to limit abortion care that people are entitled to access under California law.

And while California Democrats are able to rapidly push forward the council-approved pro-abortion legislation, council members say they will not stop “until we achieve reproductive freedom for all.”

Abortion rights supporters confront Bible Believers, a group of anti-abortion activist street preachers, at one of the Bans Off Our Bodies abortion rights protests being held across the nation today, near City Hall in Los Angeles, California, on May 14, 2022. - Thousands of activists are participating in a national day of action calling for safe and legal access to abortion. The nationwide demonstrations are a response to leaked draft opinion showing the US Supreme Court's conservative majority is considering overturning Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling guaranteeing abortion access. (Photo by DAVID MCNEW / AFP) (Photo by DAVID MCNEW/AFP via Getty Images)

Abortion rights supporters confront a group of anti-abortion activist street preachers at a Bans Off Our Bodies abortion rights protests near City Hall in Los Angeles, California, on May 14, 2022. (Photo by DAVID MCNEW/AFP via Getty Images)

“In the wake of the Dobbs decision, abortion patients, providers, and those who support and assist them are facing additional barriers and shifting landscapes,” Jodi Hicks, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, said following the introduction of the 17-bill package.

“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. Planned Parenthood, the Legislative Women’s Caucus, legislative supporters, and our partners cannot stop until we achieve reproductive freedom for all,” she said.

NARAL Pro-Choice California Director Shannon Olivieri Hovis said the bill package is just “another chance to make our state’s values clear: California will continue to provide abortion access to all who need it regardless of where they call home.”

“NARAL Pro-Choice California and our more than 371,000 members look forward to continuing to work alongside our partners on the Future of Abortion Council Steering Committee to ensure these bills become law and California continues to lead the way as a Reproductive Freedom state,” Hovis said.


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