NARAL applauds California’s efforts to expand abortion access on college campuses and address disparities in pregnancy-related deaths
For Immediate Release: October 15, 2019
Last week, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law two NARAL-sponsored bills: the College Student Right to Access Act (SB 24), which makes California the first state in the nation to expand abortion access to college campuses, and the Dignity in Pregnancy and Childbirth Act (SB 464), which will save lives by addressing bias in reproductive health care and reducing California’s high rates of pregnancy-related deaths among Black women. In response to this tremendous legislative win for reproductive freedom in California, NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue put out the following statement:
“As Trump and the anti-choice GOP continue their all-out assault on our reproductive freedoms nationwide, California is taking major steps forward to protect and expand the right to choose if, when, and how to start a family. We applaud the leadership of Governor Newsom and our pro-choice champions in the California statehouse. Time and time again, we’re reminded just how much elections matter. When we elevate pro-choice champions like Governor Newsom to positions of power, we know they will affirm our values and fight for our most fundamental freedoms. As we continue our fight to ensure that all people can access their reproductive rights free from bias or barriers to care, we can look to legislation like the bills just passed in California as shining examples of progress.”
Background on SB 24
Each month, hundreds of California’s public university students are unable to obtain abortion care on-campus, forcing them to travel long distances to access care — often with serious logistical and financial barriers — to the detriment of their academic success and well-being. Some students have had to pay exorbitant copays, had trouble finding a clinic that takes their insurance, and experienced several weeks of delays in getting the care they need. California has long affirmed the right to abortion care. The College Student Right to Access Act makes this right a reality for the hundreds of thousands of students who attend California’s public universities.
SB 24, which was sponsored by various reproductive freedom and justice organizations, including NARAL Pro-Choice California, gained widespread support from more than one hundred organizations. NARAL Pro-Choice California members and pro-choice activists stepped up early in support of SB 24 and have worked tirelessly for its passage, through lobby days, phone calls, tabling, and gathering petition signatures.
Background on SB 464
Over the last fifteen years, California has made great strides to become the state with the lowest maternal mortality rates in the country. However, Black women in California continue to die in pregnancy-related deaths at a rate 3 to 4 times higher than white women—a disparity that cannot be explained by education, income, prenatal care, or other social determinants of health. Evidence points to bias in health care as one cause of this disparity. SB 464 addresses this problem head-on by requiring that all perinatal healthcare providers participate in evidence-based implicit bias training and improving California data collection to better understand pregnancy-related deaths.
NARAL Pro-Choice California joined ACT for Women and Girls, Black Women for Wellness, the California Nurse-Midwives Association, and the Western Center on Law and Poverty as sponsors of SB 464. This year, NARAL members and pro-choice activists worked tirelessly for its passage, through lobby days, phone calls, tabling, and gathering petition signatures.
NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates and chapters are dedicated to protecting and expanding reproductive freedom for all. For more than 50 years, NARAL has worked to guarantee that every woman has the right to make personal decisions regarding the full range of reproductive choices, including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion. Since 1969, NARAL has made history, grown to over 2.5 million members, and met the moments that have defined this fight with action, power and freedom. In recognition of its work defending our constitutional right to choose, Fortune Magazine described NARAL as “one of the top 10 advocacy groups in America.”