California Senate Passes SB 245 the Abortion Accessibility Act

June 01, 2021

Sacramento, Calif. – On June 1st, 2021 the California Senate passed Senator Lena A. Gonzalez’s (D-Long Beach) Senate Bill (SB) 245 the Abortion Accessibility Act. The Abortion Accessibility Act will require all state-licensed health care service plans or disability insurance policies issued after 2022, to cover abortion services without a co-payment, deductible, or any type of cost-sharing requirement. This will finally remove high out-of-pocket costs that act as one of the most significant barriers to care for low-income individuals.
"I am proud to share that the Abortion Accessibility Act has been approved by the California State Senate," said Senator Lena Gonzalez. “California has long been a leader in protecting individuals’ right to access reproductive health care services. This constitutionally protected right, however, is now under attack across our nation. It is now more important than ever for California to keep fighting for the reproductive rights of ALL people, regardless of their status, privilege, or how much money is in their bank account. Today’s approval of the Abortion Accessibility Act by the California State Senate upholds these values, and I am excited to continue our work with reproductive rights advocates in our state as we push for the successful passage of the Abortion Accessibility Act as the bill heads to a vote in the State Assembly.”
“We must acknowledge that for many people, abortion access is already out of reach despite the right to safe, legal abortion. The same is true even in California,” said Jodi Hicks, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California. “We know for many people with low incomes and Black and Brown people, already forced to navigate a legacy of racist and discriminatory systems, barriers like affordability can significantly impact access to care. The right to access abortion is under dire threat across this country but California, with the Abortion Accessibility Act, has the chance to continue helping break down barriers to care and expand access so that reproductive freedom for every person is one step closer.”
“The longer it takes someone to come up with the money they need for an abortion, the higher the cost becomes. For too long, pregnant people of color, LGBTQ people, and people with lower incomes have been disproportionately harmed by financial barriers to abortion care,” said Shannon Olivieri Hovis, Director of NARAL Pro-Choice California. “When these barriers make abortion care inaccessible for so many, it means there is no true freedom to decide. Thank you to Senator Gonzalez and the reproductive freedom champions in the California Senate for taking a step to end this cycle and get people the care they need.”
"At ACCESS, we hear from callers every week who face challenges in accessing the abortion care they need because of all kinds of barriers, including cost-sharing. Financial barriers further exacerbate already existing racial and socio-economic health disparities. Any barrier to accessing care precludes individuals from having full autonomy in and dignity over their decision-making," said Jessica Pinckney, Executive Director of ACCESS REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE. "SB 245 is one step in the many necessary to make abortion truly accessible across the state of California. We are thrilled to be in partnership with Senator Gonzalez and Reproductive Justice allies across the state as we work, collectively, to make Reproductive Justice a reality for every individual."
“The National Health Law Program is a proud sponsor of SB 245 because we want to ensure that all Californians have access to abortion services and that cost is never a barrier to care,” said Fabiola Carrión, Senior Attorney at the National Health Law Program. “As 2021 has introduced unprecedented challenges to abortion access at the Supreme Court and in other states, California once again steps up as the national beacon of hope on reproductive freedom.”
Senator Gonzalez represents the 33rd Senate District, which includes the City of Long Beach and portions of South Los Angeles and Southeast Los Angeles including the cities of Bell, Bell Gardens, Cudahy, Huntington Park, Lakewood, Lynwood, Maywood, Paramount, Signal Hill, and South Gate. Senator Gonzalez lives in Long Beach with her family.
Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California (PPAC) is a 501(c)(4) organization and leads the state-wide public policy and advocacy work on behalf of the seven separately incorporated Planned Parenthood affiliates in California. PPAC is one of 21 state public affairs offices of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
For over 50 years, NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates and chapters have fought to protect and advance reproductive freedom—including access to abortion, contraception, and paid family leave—for every body. NARAL is powered by its more than 2.5 million members from every state and congressional district in the country, representing the 7 in 10 Americans who believe every person should have the freedom to make the best decision for themselves about if, when, and how to raise a family.
ACCESS REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE removes barriers to sexual and reproductive healthcare and builds the power of Californians to demand health, justice, and dignity.
The National Health Law Program, founded in 1969, protects and advances health rights of low-income and underserved individuals and families. NHLP advocates, educates and litigates at the federal and state levels to advance health and civil rights in the U.S.