California's Reproductive Freedom Legislative Scorecard Methodology - Reproductive Freedom for All

Formerly NARAL Pro-Choice America

California’s Reproductive Freedom Legislative Scorecard Methodology


California continues leading the nation to protect and expand access to the full scope of reproductive health care, including improving access to  abortion, sexual/reproductive health education, and contraception; and improving outcomes for maternal and infant health by fighting pregnancy discrimination, addressing bias in pregnancy and delivery care, and advancing paid family leave.

A strong majority of California state legislators support reproductive freedom—a testament to their values and conviction—but that is just the starting point for being a true champion for reproductive freedom. It is for this reason Reproductive Freedom for All California has a legislative scorecard to hold state legislators to account and to highlight those who are stepping up to lead on these issues. 

The Reproductive Freedom Legislative Scorecard seeks to hold anti-abortion legislators accountable and to differentiate between legislators who support reproductive freedom and legislators who are willing to go above and beyond to stand with the 8 in 10 Americans who believe abortion should be legal.

The California PrivacyPAC will take this scorecard into consideration when making decisions about which candidates to endorse, and looks forward to working closely with champions for reproductive freedom up and down the state as California continues to push the envelope in safeguarding the right to decide if, when, and how to raise a family.

While the Reproductive Freedom Legislative Scorecard will only reflect the legislative record on issues of reproductive freedom, Reproductive Freedom for All California has support positions on the following intersectional issues: racial justice, gender justice, LGBTQIA+ rights, immigration rights, and democracy & civil rights. Legislative records in these intersectional issue areas may also be taken into account when considering endorsements.

See the 2023 Scorecard


The Reproductive Freedom Legislative Scorecard scores key Assembly and Senate committee and floor votes on reproductive freedom legislation, as well as factors in lead authorship and co-authorship of bills advancing reproductive freedom. Votes and authorships may be weighted based on alignment with organizational priorities. Legislative offices will be notified ahead of the vote on bills that Reproductive Freedom for All California plans to score.

“No Vote Recorded” is counted as a “No” vote unless the “No Vote Recorded” is attributed to a documented excused absence. Similarly, in a close floor vote, if a legislator has “Added On” after the fact and not helped the bill pass off of the floor, the vote will be recorded as “Added On” and may not be scored the same as a “Yes” vote.

Other applicable factors may be taken into account, including actions taken by a committee chair to prevent a reproductive freedom bill from advancing or introducing anti-abortion or hostile legislation. Additionally, in the State Assembly, it will be indicated, (though not awarded additional points), if the Assemblymember serves as a member of the Select Committee on Women’s Reproductive Health.

Bills are scored in the areas of reproductive freedom, including: access to abortion; access to sexual and reproductive health education, information, and counseling; equitable access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care including increasing affordability, expanding the number and types of providers, fighting harmful restrictions on care, and more; and access to pregnancy and postpartum services and support including improving maternal health outcomes, fighting pregnancy discrimination, expanding paid family leave, and more.

The Reproductive Freedom Scorecard reflects annual and not aggregated scores. The first scorecard was released in 2021.

Grading Scale Definitions

(A+, A) Reproductive Freedom Champions Champions are on the front line of the fight for reproductive freedom. These legislators not only take the right votes, they also lead author and co-author reproductive freedom bills, whip necessary committee and floor votes to advance these bills, and proactively and publicly utilize their platform to speak up and push to expand reproductive freedom.

(A-, B+) Reproductive Freedom Leaders Leaders are strong advocates who consistently vote to advance reproductive freedom. They sometimes lead author or co-author reproductive freedom bills and may use their platform to support reproductive freedom.

(B, B-) Reproductive Freedom Defenders Defenders consistently vote to expand reproductive freedom and may co-author the occasional reproductive freedom bill.

(C) Legislators with Mixed Support for Reproductive Freedom Legislators with mixed support for reproductive freedom have taken votes both in favor of and against reproductive freedom.

(D) Legislators Hostile to Reproductive Freedom Legislators hostile to reproductive freedom may vote for some policies protecting reproductive freedom, but vote against many others.

(F) Legislators Extremely Hostile to Reproductive Freedom Legislators extremely hostile to reproductive freedom fail in the fight for reproductive freedom. They actively and fervently work to deny Californians our fundamental rights to access reproductive healthcare.

(NEI) Not Enough Information These legislators did not complete a full term and therefore did not have the opportunity to author or co-author legislation at the beginning of the session and were not present for all votes scored.