Author: Commission News
Published: Sep 22, 2021

The California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls was thrilled to join the Governor for the signing of Commissioner Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan’s (D-Orinda) AB 1356, sponsored by Planned Parenthood, which adds extensive protections for patients and providers at reproductive health clinics. As part of this legislation, the Commission will work with policy makers and key stakeholders on recommendations to further build on California’s leadership to ensure safety and expand access to reproductive health care for Californians and those from out of state seeking services.

As the Commission gears up to convene an advisory Council of subject matter experts to evaluate current law and make recommendations on actions to ensure greater protections for people seeking and providing critical health care services, we look forward to collaborating with Committees on Health, Judiciary, and Public Safety of the Senate and Assembly, the Attorney General, and the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training, on the outcomes and generating our reports.

“The failure of the Supreme Court to protect Roe v. Wade makes it clear that it is up to State leaders to defend freedom of choice,” said Commissioner Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan. “We must remain ever vigilant to protect a woman’s fundamental right to make a decision about her own body.”

Reproductive health clinics serve as a line of critical care, especially for young and low-income women. These vulnerable patients and providers are facing a rise of organized harassment, being attacked online and in person. AB 1356 updates existing statutes to increase safety and ensure greater protections for people seeking and providing critical reproductive care services. AB 1356 will also update and expand online privacy laws related to reproductive health care providers to better conform with the current security concerns faced by providers and patients today.

Patients with financial means have access to hospitals that are free of protestors, and access to abortions and other healthcare. The laws restricting freedom of choice and the organized efforts of protest groups deny access primarily to those without other options.

Abortion is a vital part of reproductive healthcare. It is one of many options that pregnant people have the legal right to choose and it is not any state’s role to choose for them by limiting access. The Commission is proud to support reproductive freedom as the administrators of the College Student Right to Access Act and our role in convening the subject matter experts as required by AB1356.

“Today California takes further steps in leading the way on preserving reproductive freedom, forming an even deeper commitment to the well-being and freedom of choice for those seeking reproductive care,” said Commission Chair Lauren Babb. “The California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls is honored to be a part of the effort to solidify protections and access to abortion and we remain committed to protecting reproductive freedom for all.”

At a time when the freedom of choice is under attack in many states, we are proud that California has remained steadfast in its commitment to protect a woman’s fundamental right of bodily autonomy and choice. We are grateful to the Governor for his consistent support for the human dignity and right to self-determination of anyone seeking reproductive healthcare in California.