Measures on Blood Banking, Still Birth Advance in California
The Assembly on Monday unanimously approved legislation (AB 34) by Assembly member Anthony Portantino (D-Pasadena) to create a state-run collection program for umbilical cord blood, the AP/Sacramento Bee reports.
Stem cells from cord blood can be used to help treat cancer and other illnesses.
Portantino said about 97% of cord blood in California is discarded but could be used to treat more than 70 diseases (Davis/Young, AP/Sacramento Bee, 6/4).
The program would be free and voluntary, and ethnic minorities would be particularly targeted for outreach because minority populations typically face more obstacles locating donors for bone marrow transplants (California Healthline, 4/16).
The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration (AP/Sacramento Bee, 6/4).
The Senate on Monday approved a bill (SB 850) by Sen. Abel Maldonado (R-Santa Maria) that would permit the state to issue certificates of still birth, the AP/Sacramento Bee reports (Davis/Young, AP/Sacramento Bee, 6/4).
Groups that oppose abortion rights withdrew their support for the bill after it was amended to include language defining still birth as "the delivery of a fetus where there was a naturally occurring intrauterine fetal death after a gestational age of not less than 20 completed weeks." In addition, a separate amendment to the bill reaffirms the Legislature's support for existing laws and court rulings related to a woman's right to abortion (California Healthline, 6/4).
Maldonado said he will seek to collaborate with the Assembly Health Committee to remove the word "reaffirm" from the measure in reference to the Legislature's support of laws related to abortion rights (Garcia, San Jose Mercury News, 6/5).