The Sacramento Bee: Lawmaker Introduces Abortion Access Bill On Roe v. Wade Anniversary

January 25, 2021

By Andrew Sheeler
California insurers would be required to cover abortions without imposing a co-pay, deductible or any type of cost-sharing, under a new bill introduced by Sen. Lena Gonzalez, D-Long Beach.

Gonzalez introduced SB 245 on Friday, the 48th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortions.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the inequities that exist within our healthcare system, and unfortunately, reproductive care is not the exception to these shortcomings,” Gonzalez said in a statement. “Everyone should have the right to make their own decision about when, if and how to start a family. Yet when it comes to Black, Latinx, Indigenous, trans and non-binary individuals, people with disabilities, young people, low-income and rural families and women of color—that choice, that constitutional right can quickly disappear under the financial strain of co-payments, deductibles and debt.”

SB 245 is co-authored by 10 members for the Democratic Legislative Women’s Caucus, and currently awaits referral to a Senate policy committee for consideration.

The bill is championed by several groups, including Access Reproductive Justice, the National Health Law Program, Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, the Black Women for Wellness Action Project and NARAL Pro-Choice California.

“We cannot truly be considered a reproductive freedom state until all Californians are able to access--and afford--abortion care. By removing cost barriers to abortion, this bill is an important step toward guaranteeing that all Californians, regardless of their financial circumstances, have equitable, timely access to the care they need,” said Shannon Olivieri Hovis, director of NARAL Pro-Choice California, in a statement.