Building on the state’s historic $100 million investment in reproductive health in the 2019-20 state budget, Governor Gavin Newsom today signed into law legislation expanding access to critical reproductive health care services. The Governor signed SB 24 by Senator Connie Leyva (D-Chino) which requires student health centers on University of California and California State University campuses to offer abortion by medication techniques on site.
“As other states and the federal government go backward, restricting reproductive freedom, in California we are moving forward, expanding access and reaffirming a woman’s right choose,” said Governor Newsom. “We’re removing barriers to reproductive health – increasing access on college campuses and using technology to modernize how patients interact with providers.”
SB 24 requires the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls to administer a Reproductive Health Fund, which will provide private funding to public university health centers to provide these new services. The bill will reduce barriers for the hundreds of California public university students who are forced to go off-campus to seek medication abortions every month, often missing class and delaying their access to this legal reproductive health procedure.
“As states across our country are rolling back women’s health care and access to abortion, California continues to lead the nation in protecting every individual’s right to choose,” said Senator Leyva. “By ensuring that abortion care is available on campus, college students will not have to choose between delaying important medical care or needing to travel long distances or even missing classes or work. I thank Governor Newsom for signing SB 24 and for continuing to prioritize the rights of all Californians seeking abortion care, including students at our public universities.”
The Governor also signed AB 1264 by Assemblymember Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach), which reduces unnecessary barriers and requirements to accessing birth control from Planned Parenthood. The bill clarifies that birth control can be prescribed via teleconference without a video chat, allowing people to safely access birth control through a phone app which will expand access to birth control in California.
In this year’s budget, California doubled investment in reproductive health to a record $100 million – when matched with federal funding, this investment will provide hundreds of millions to Planned Parenthood and other critical women’s health providers. In March, California also sued the federal administration over its proposed “gag rule.” The rule threatens Title X funds, which provide a critical lifeline for nearly 4 million low-income women around the country.
Previously, the Governor signed SB 464 by Senator Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) to improve black maternal health care. The bill will reduce preventable maternal mortality among black women by requiring all perinatal health care providers to undergo implicit bias training to curb the impact of bias on maternal health, and improving data collection at the California Department of Public Health to better understand pregnancy-related deaths. The 2019-20 state budget includes more than $65 million of ongoing total funds to expand the California Home Visiting Program and the Black Infant Health Program, which will improve the health and wellness of mothers and children and allow more families to access these important culturally appropriate services.