Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sept. 22 announced the administration’s participation in a new advisory group to advance the state’s leadership on reproductive freedom.
Additionally, he signed legislation furthering the state’s commitment to ensuring access to essential reproductive and sexual health care services.
The legislation will protect the privacy of patients seeking sensitive health care services, including reproductive health care, and create new safeguards to protect patients and providers from harassment.
“California has been a leader in protecting access to sexual and reproductive rights, but as we’ve seen recently with unprecedented attacks on these rights, we can and must do more,” Newsom said. “I applaud the establishment of the California Future of Abortion Council and look forward to its important work to advance our state’s leadership on this vital issue. I’m proud today to sign these two bills that demonstrate our dedication to strengthening and further protecting access to reproductive health care services in California.”
Assembly Bill 1356 increases penalties for current crimes under the California Freedom of Access to Clinic Act and updates online privacy laws and peace officer training related to anti-reproduction-rights offenses.
Another bill, AB 1184, will protect the privacy rights of people receiving sensitive health care services, including reproductive health care and gender-affirming care, by ensuring patient information is kept confidential if they are not the primary policyholder for their health insurance.
Newsom’s actions come in the wake of attacks on sexual health care and reproductive rights around the country, including the U.S. Supreme Court’s failure to block Texas’ ban on abortion after six weeks.
The California Future of Abortion Council was launched by Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, NARAL-Pro Choice CA, Black Women for Wellness, ACCESS Reproductive Justice and National Health Law Program.
It will work in collaboration with researchers, advocates, policy makers, providers, patients and key constituents to identify potential challenges that currently exist or may arise, and recommend solutions that will continue the state’s reproductive freedom leadership.
In 2019, Newsom signed a proclamation on reproductive freedom, reaffirming California’s commitment to protecting women’s reproductive choices.
The governor has advanced investments to expand access to reproductive and sexual health care and signed multiple bills protecting reproductive freedom, including SB 374 earlier this year and SB 24 and AB 1264 in 2019.
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