CITIZENS FOR CHOICE POSITIONS ON LEGISLATION
The sexually transmitted disease (STD) epidemic in California has reached crisis levels.
After hitting record highs for the third year in a row, California now ranks first in the nation for the most cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. Nearly half a million Californians were infected with at least one of these diseases in 2016 – up 40% since 2013. California’s rate of syphilis among newborns is currently the second highest in the U.S. after Louisiana, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
This public health crisis is impacting the most vulnerable populations in our state. Young people under the age of 30, MSM populations and communities of color are disproportionately impacted. Statewide data indicate over half of all STDs in the state are experienced among California youth ages 15 – 24 years old.
The majority of STDs are treatable. But if left untreated, some STDs may cause long-term health problems, like infertility, blindness, increase risk of developing certain cancers, and still-births. Approximately $1 billion is spent annually statewide on health costs associated with STDs.
To address alarmingly high STD rates, urge California lawmakers to invest an additional $10 million to support STD prevention activities and outreach and education efforts in targeted communities disproportionately impacted by the STD crisis.
CA BUDGET ISSUES 2018-2019
Budget Act of 2018: AB 1806, SB 839
Introduced in Assembly and Senate on January 10, 2018. Referred to respective Budget Committees later in January.
STD prevention: Request for budget increase of $10 million annually
Lead advocate: Essential Access Health
After hitting a record high for the third year in a row, California now ranks first in the country for the most cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. Nearly half a million Californians were infected with these in 2016. This is no longer an epidemic. It’s a crisis, impacting the most vulnerable populations in our state: young people under the age of 30, men who have sex with men (MSM) populations and communities of color. A significant investment is required to have a long-term public health impact. To address alarmingly high STD rates across California, STD prevention advocates are urging the legislature to allocate an additional $10 million in the state budget to the STD Control Branch for STD prevention activities and outreach and education efforts. Funding would be prioritized to support activities targeting communities disproportionately impacted by STDs in partnership with local organizations.
POSITION: Recommend support. CCRF circulated a coalition letter to go to legislative leaders and budget committee chairs in April, 2018.
STATUS: Pending in budget committees.
PUBLIC POLICY PROGRAM
Our public policy program promotes reproductive justice through advocacy aimed at reproductive health and rights. GUIDING PRINCIPLES: Basic to all of Citizens for Choice public policy efforts is the bedrock principle of reproductive justice: support for the right of each person to choice in determining her or his own reproductive life, including the right to safe and legal abortion established in Roe v. Wade in 1973 and the right of each and every individual to decide whether and when to have children. ADVOCACY PRIORITIES Citizens for Choice supports legislation, public funding and public policies that promote:
- access to comprehensive, medically accurate, current, unbiased information and education about sexual health and family planning
- universal access to affordable, quality reproductive healthcare
Our advocacy priorities are:
- Adequate funding for reproductive healthcare and family planning services under Medi-Cal and Family PACT.
- Access to reproductive healthcare for California’s uninsured and underinsured populations.
- Adequate federal funding for reproductive healthcare and family planning services and the elimination of related funding restrictions.
- Promoting comprehensive, medically accurate sex education.