The California Assembly is currently considering a bill that will protect reproductive choice in California should the US Supreme Court ever decide to overturn its landmark 1973 decision in Roe versus Wade. The bill, called the Reproductive Privacy Act, passed in the state Senate in May. The Assembly is expected to vote on the bill as early as today.
The Reproductive Privacy Act has the strong support of Gov. Gray Davis (D), according to the Washington Times. The sponsor of the bill, Senator Sheila Kuehl, said that the bill’s purpose is to safeguard the right to safe and legal abortion in California in case new anti-choice justices are appointed to the Supreme Court. The bill would also remove restrictions on nurses and other health practitioners who are not licensed physicians to dispense mifepristone (also known as RU 486) to women seeking medical abortions. If this bill passes, California will be the first state to have set up safeguards to protect abortion rights, and it would be the first state to allow easier access to non-surgical early abortions, according to the Washington Times.
The California legislature also overwhelmingly passed a bill on Monday to provide emergency contraception to victims of sexual assault upon request. Gov. Davis is expected to sign the bill, according to the Los Angeles Times. The legislature passed a bill requiring abortion procedures training for ob-gyn residents in state medical schools earlier this week.