For Immediate Release: Wednesday, April 7, 2021
Contact: [email protected]
Joint statement from the cosponsors of SB 245, which would help eliminate financial barriers to abortion care and expand access for all Californians
California — Today, the California Senate Committee on Health voted to advance SB 245, the Abortion Accessibility Act. SB 245 would help to eliminate financial barriers to abortion care and expand access for Californians by requiring all state-licensed commercial health plans and insurers to cover abortion care without imposing copayments, deductibles, or any type of cost sharing. The bill was introduced by state Sen. Lena Gonzalez (D-Long Beach) and is cosponsored by NARAL Pro-Choice California, ACCESS REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE, Black Women for Wellness, National Health Law Program, and Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California.
NARAL Pro-Choice California, ACCESS REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE, Black Women for Wellness, National Health Law Program, and Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California released the following joint statement in response to SB 245 advancing out of committee:
“The Abortion Accessibility Act puts California on track to cement the state as a national leader in safeguarding and advancing reproductive freedom. This bill is essential for ensuring that all Californians are able to access abortion care regardless of income, insurance type, race, zip code, or how much money is in their bank account.
Nobody should ever be denied care or reproductive freedom because of their financial circumstances. We applaud the members of the Senate Health Committee for taking this critical step to ensure all Californians have equitable and timely access to the care they need.”
Current law, as established by the Affordable Care Act, prohibits cost-sharing for preventive services, which include birth control, cancer screenings, and routine vaccinations. While California requires health insurance plans to cover abortion care, many people are still forced to pay up to thousands of dollars in deductibles, pushing abortion care out of reach for many low- and middle-income families.
SB 245 is supported by a robust coalition of reproductive healthcare providers and advocates committed to ensuring that no one in California is unable to access abortion because of the cost of care. Black, Indigenous, and people of color, trans and non-binary people, people in rural communities, and people with lower incomes are especially harmed by financial roadblocks because of systemic disparities in healthcare. The Abortion Accessibility Act will help give everyone the ability to make the decisions about pregnancy and parenting that are best for themselves and their families, regardless of cost.
For over 50 years, NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates and chapters have fought to protect and advance reproductive freedom—including access to abortion, contraception, and paid family leave—for every body. NARAL is powered by its more than 2.5 million members from every state and congressional district in the country, representing the 7 in 10 Americans who believe every person should have the freedom to make the best decision for themselves about if, when, and how to raise a family.
ACCESS REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE is a community-based organization that removes barriers and builds the power of Californians to achieve reproductive justice.
Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California (PPAC) is the state public policy office representing California’s seven separately incorporated Planned Parenthood affiliates. Through advocacy and electoral action, PPAC promotes sound public policy in areas of sexual and reproductive health care and sex education.
Black Women for Wellness Action Project is the first Black women’s reproductive justice political organization in the country (501c4). We are committed to building the political and electoral power of Black women and their families throughout California.
The National Health Law Program, founded in 1969, protects and advances health rights of low-income and underserved individuals and families. We advocate, educate and litigate at the federal and state levels to advance health and civil rights in the U.S. NHeLP defends and advances access to the full range of reproductive health services, including family planning, pregnancy, and abortion services in Medicaid and private insurance.