Democratic state and national lawmakers passed legislation last week in response to what they consider recent “attacks” on abortion rights. California’s governor signed two bills, including AB 1184, which allows minors to conceal “sensitive” medical care from their parents. And the U.S. House of Representatives passed a largely symbolic act that critics call one of the most extreme abortion measures ever drafted.
The new legislation comes in the wake of the controversial Texas law that prohibits abortion after about six weeks gestation, before most women know they’re pregnant.
With AB 1184 and AB 1356, CA Is a ‘Reproductive Freedom State’
While signing legislation Wednesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom declared California a “reproductive freedom state.” One law, known as AB 1356, protects the privacy and private information of abortion providers and recipients. The other, AB 1184, bars insurers from sharing with policy-holding parents any details about a child’s “sensitive services.”
Such services include treatment for mental health, substance abuse, “intimate partner violence,” “sexual and reproductive health” (including abortion), and “gender-affirming care” (including hormone treatments for gender transition). Insurance companies can no longer require parental authorization of such care. Plus, they must direct communications about services to the child and can’t share information with parents unless the child consents.
While urging Newsom to veto the bill, Republicans wrote that “parents have a right to be involved” in such decisions. Jonathan Keller, president of the California Family Council, asks, “How can moms and dads protect their children if insurance companies deliberately keep them in the dark?” He adds, “Even the best-intentioned medical providers cannot replace the role of mothers and fathers,” especially when “irreversible medical procedures like abortion and sterilizing hormone treatments” are involved.
Gov. Newsom, a Democrat who recently avoided recall, also announced that California will participate in a new pro-abortion advisory group. “While Texas and other GOP states continue to strip women of their fundamental reproductive rights,” he says, “California is working to defend and expand access to reproductive health care.”