The California State Assembly passed the Reproductive Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care and Transparency (FACT) Act yesterday.
AB 775, or the FACT Act, passed 48-25 in a vote, and requires that unlicensed facilities in California that provide pregnancy-related services disclose that they are not licensed medical providers. The bill also requires licensed reproductive health clinics to inform patients of California programs to help them access affordable family planning, abortion services, and prenatal care.
Assembly members in support of the bill hope that the FACT Act will allow women seeking pregnancy-related care can access the care and services she needs, as well as know all her options. It was authored by Assembly members David Chiu (D- San Francisco) and Autumn Burke (D-Los Angeles), and sponsored by Attorney General Kamala Harris, NARAL-Pro Choice California, and Black Women for Wellness.
“By ensuring women have access to reproductive health information free from coercion, and by informing women of the full range of choices available to live healthy full lives regardless of race, income, or geographic location, we are saying that women are able to make the best decisions about our future,” said Nourbese Flint, program manager for Black Women for Wellness.
“With AB 775, all clinics will be held to the same standard,” Assemblywoman Burke said, “and all patients will have access to clear, timely information about their health care rights.”
“The Assembly sent a clear message that women deserve information to help them make the best health care decisions for themselves and their families,” said Amy Everitt, state director of NARAL Pro-Choice California.
The fight for clear and accurate information for pregnant women has long been a fight for women’s rights activists. Just last summer, in response to a campaign by NARAL Pro-Choice America and efforts by the Feminist Majority Foundation to expose fake clinics, Google removed deceptive crisis pregnancy center (CPC) advertisements from search engine results when users seek information about abortion services. Most of the advertisements claimed that the CPCs provided abortions when they did not.
Media Resources: Feminist Newswire 4/29/14; Feminist Campus Campaign to Expose Fake Clinics;