State Backs Reproductive Rights

California’s executive and legislative branches have thrown their support behind reproductive rights. First, the California Dept. of Managed Health care sent letters to carriers and colleges reminding them that insurance companies in the state can’t refuse to cover abortion. The announcement came after two Catholic institutions, Santa Clara University and Loyola Marymount University, decided to drop coverage for elective abortions for more than 2,000 employees.

Second, the California legislature passed the Contraceptive Coverage Equity Act, which strengthens the coverage for FDA-approved birth control methods under Obamacare. It now heads to the governor, who is expected to sign it. Senate Bill (SB) 1053 would expand access to the full range of FDA approved methods of birth control without restrictions or co-pays.  The measure was introduced by Senator Holly J. Mitchell (D-26) of Los Angeles and co-sponsored by California Family Health Council and the National Health Education Law Program.

California has had a law on the books since 1999 that requires health insurers to cover contraception along with other prescription drugs. The new measure goes even further to ensure that women can select their birth control method without being required to try other methods first. “We continue to see an alarming national trend of restricting access to women’s health care. In the aftermath of the disappointing Hobby Lobby decision, California, once again, has the opportunity to lead the nation with a legislative model to help women more effectively plan their families and futures with fair and consistent contraceptive coverage,” said Julie Rabinovitz, President and CEO of California Family Health Council.

Last Updated 11/25/2020

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