Calif. Bill Would Bar Misinformation at Crisis Pregnancy Centers
The bill, which is supported by state Attorney General Kamala Harris (D), now heads to the state Senate for consideration (Dobuzinskis, Reuters, 5/26).
There are about 200 CPCs in California (Reuters, 5/26). However, many of them are not licensed to provide medical care. The centers often operate through private funding, while some receive federal funding that has been set aside for abstinence programs.
Details of Bill
The measure, by Assembly members David Chiu (D-San Francisco) and Autumn Burke (D-Los Angeles), aims to expand protections in a 2011 San Francisco ordinance (212-11) that bars CPCs from disseminating misleading information.
The legislation would require licensed facilities that provide services related to pregnancy and family planning to let women know about how and where they can access affordable and timely abortion, contraception and prenatal care services.
Further, the bill would mandate that unlicensed facilities that provide pregnancy- and family planning-related services inform patients that the facility is not licensed and that they have no staff members who are licensed providers (Bay City News, 4/13). Such facilities would be required to disseminate a notice to patients at the facility and in any digital or print advertising materials stating, "This facility is not licensed as a medical facility by the State of California and has no licensed medical provider who provides or directly supervises the provision of services" (AB 775, 4/8).
Burke said, "Women in California deserve to know about all of their options about family planning and reproductive health care so that they can make truly informed decisions."
Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), a former director of women's health clinics, said, "This is about protecting the health and safety of women, it's not about trampling on religious beliefs" (Nirappil, AP/U-T San Diego, 5/26).
However, Sandra Palacios -- associate director of the California Catholic Conference, which opposes the legislation -- said CCC would support an effort to pursue litigation against the measure if it becomes law (Reuters, 5/26).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.