Senate Leader Atkins’ Abortion Provider Protection Bill Passes Assembly
SACRAMENTO – Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins’ bill to strengthen protections for California health care providers who provide abortion care services and gender-affirming care services has passed the Assembly on a 64-15 vote.
“As states continue to put restrictions and bans on women’s reproductive rights and gender-affirming care, providers in California continue to step forward, helping an increased number of patients coming here for care and traveling out of state to help those in need,” Pro Tem Atkins said. “This bill would ensure this is no disruption in a provider’s ability to perform abortion care in California, where it is legal and enshrined in our state constitution. Even if a provider is penalized in another state, they will still be able to provide both of these critically needed services here.”
Senate Bill 487 would ensure that a health insurer, Medi-Cal, or health care service plan cannot penalize a licensed California health care provider who performs abortion or gender-affirming care services. The bill would also prohibit insurers from discriminating or refusing to contract with a provider sanctioned in another state for providing care that is legal in California but illegal in another state. With many states starting to restrict or outlaw gender-affirming care, this provision is needed now more than ever.
SB 487 follows more than a decade of work by Pro Tem Atkins to widen access to reproductive health care in California.
SB 487 will return to the Senate for a concurrence vote.
Toni G. Atkins is President pro Tempore of the California Senate. Having previously served as Speaker of the California Assembly, she began her tenure in the Senate in 2016. As Senator for District 39, she represents the cities of San Diego, Coronado, Del Mar and Solana Beach. Website of President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins: www.senate.ca.gov/Atkins