A stalled Senate bill that would end co-payment for abortions in California was pushed back to become an active bill for the next session this week after the Supreme Court ruling do not block certain restrictions on abortion, Roe v. Wade may soon be canceled and the state recently announced it will be a sanctuary state for women seeking abortions.
Senate Bill 245, authored by Sen. Lena Gonzalez (D-Long Beach), would not allow health care plans or disability insurance policies to impose a deductible, coinsurance, co-payment or other similar sharing requirement. costs on abortion and abortion-related services. Utilization management and review of abortion service utilization by companies and health care plans would also be prohibited under the bill.
Essentially, SB 245, also known as the Abortion Access Act, would eliminate out-of-pocket fees for Californians seeking abortions, ranging from $300 to $900 per procedure depending on the type of abortion that they have. ‘they’re looking for.
The bill had passed in the Senate earlier this year 31-8, but after a tougher-than-expected vote by the Assembly subcommittee, subsequent hearings were suspended in favor of other legislation. He was officially placed on the waiting list in July.
But, with the legality of abortion under threat, state lawmakers are now bringing the bill back, insisting the issue is now urgent and will be a crucial part of California’s new status as a sanctuary state for abortion.
“Given what we’ve seen unfold over the past three months, I think there’s a new urgency for this bill,” Sen. Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) said Friday. “I’m optimistic he’ll get a good hearing in the Assembly and land on the governor’s desk. The state’s current fiscal surplus can help expand abortion services, but funding is not limited to taxpayer dollars. Nonprofits and community organizations have been fundraising for years to help women who cannot afford abortions or need money to travel to get one. This is a call to action for those who support abortion and reproductive rights to double the support we have given them for decades.
Support for, opposition against SB 245
While the bill is supported by the majority of lawmakers and Planned Parenthood, many health care providers and insurers oppose the bill by forcing co-payments on health providers. Anti-abortion groups are also strongly opposed to the bill, with faith groups leading the charge against the bill. Many Catholic lawmakers have come under additional pressure from religious groups.
“There were a lot of calls and emails from all kinds of religious groups earlier this year,” “Dana,” a state capitol staffer, told The Globe on Friday. “We usually see more than usual when something opposed by religions comes up, but we got more than the usual amount this time too.”
“So we’re expecting even more now because a lot of bands are fighting really hard right now with Roe vs. Wade on the ropes for the first time in a long time. They don’t want to see California become a haven for abortions when most of the rest of the country begins to block them.
With at least 26 states set to ban all or most abortions, reports indicate that if this happened, California would see a dramatic 3,000% increase in the number of people traveling to California for abortions.
SB 245 is set to be reintroduced next month in the state legislature and should be “expedited” before other abortion law restrictions can kick in.