California a Reproductive Freedom State

Along with you, our supporters, we mourned the loss of Constitutional protections for abortion, when the US Supreme Court decided the infamous Dobbs case in June of this year.  In the months since, some of the direst predictions have come to pass. A growing list of states has fully banned abortion and contraception, and more are passing laws so restrictive that access to safe, affordable abortion care is no longer available. 

Against that backdrop, it is even more positive news that California is leading the way by enacting laws that protect, expand and honor every person’s right to sexual and reproductive healthcare–including abortion care and birth control.

We at Citizens for Choice joined in the advocacy efforts of allies on the CA Future of Abortion Council Steering Committee. And we can report on our joint, huge success in seeing most of the FAB Council’s legislative package adopted in CA.

The CA Future of Abortion Council Statement:

“California continues to take historic steps towards its promise to be a Reproductive Freedom state – not just protecting access to abortion care in the face of Roe v. Wade being overturned, but moving forward centering equity and expanding access to help people, regardless of where they call home, get the essential care they want or need here in California.”

“This bill package, in addition to the $200+ million in new funding, will go a long way in helping people seeking care in California and the community organizations and providers already on the ground doing the work across the state.”

“By signing this bill package, Governor Newsom is putting an exclamation mark on a year-long effort by California reproductive health, rights, and justice leaders and policymakers to prepare and respond to the U.S Supreme Court overturning 50 years of precedent and eliminating the federally protected right to abortion.”

***Read more about the CA FAB Council and its legislative package here.

Let me highlight just a few of the items in that package.  One would enshrine protections for abortion and contraception in our state Constitution (SCA10), putting the question on our CA ballot in November as Proposition 1. We have joined in that campaign, and urge our supporters for vote for Prop 1, to further protect access to abortion and contraception as constitutional rights. Another calls for the state to create a website devoted to abortion information and access (SB 1142).  The site is operational.  To access it, go to https://abortion.ca.gov/

We have also succeeded in other policy areas. Several new laws will help make workplaces more family friendly, especially for family leave (e.g., AB 152, extending Covid-related supplemental leave through the end of this year and SB 951, increasing wage replacement rates for taking paid family leave).  For more information, visit our website at https://citizensforchoice.org/2022-public-policy-priorities/  

Thanks to everyone who has supported our ability to champion these important pieces of legislation. You are helping us to keep CA a reproductive freedom state, for the benefit of us all. 

Elaine Sierra, J.D.

Public Policy Director