Policy & Activism



SB 1300 helps combat harassment and discrimination in the workplace by closing legal loopholes and strengthening protections under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).

In recent months, sexual harassment has gained long-overdue attention as a large number of women (and some men) have come forward about their experiences with sexual harassment in the workplace.  As we have learned from the many stories that have come to light, our laws have too often failed to protect workers from the kind of sexual harassment and discrimination that they were designed to prevent.

SB 1300 addresses these gaps in the law by proposing several important reforms.  First, SB 1300 will provide statutory guidance on the “severe or pervasive” legal standard for sexual harassment claims, to ensure that the standard is consistently and fairly applied to protect victims of sexual harassment.  The bill also makes clear that employers must take the necessary steps to prevent the harassment from occurring in the first place.  The bill clarifies that if the employer knew or should have known that the conduct was unwelcome to the plaintiff (conduct that, if increased in severity or became pervasive, would meet the legal standard for harassment or discrimination), the employer must take all reasonable steps to prevent the same or similar conduct from recurring.

As we have seen in some of the recent high profile sexual harassment cases, some employers are requiring workers to sign various legal documents, as a condition of employment, as a way to silence victims, escape liability, or minimize public scrutiny.  SB 1300 will make it an unlawful employment practice for an employer to require an employee to sign a release of a claim or right under FEHA in exchange for a raise or bonus, or as a condition of employment or continued employment.  The bill would also prohibit an employer from requiring an employee to sign a non-disparagement agreement or other document that purports to deny the employee the right to disclose information about unlawful acts in the workplace, including, but not limited to, sexual harassment.

Finally, SB 1300 will strengthen sexual harassment training so that it is more effective and reaches more people in the workplace.  This bill will require that all employers covered under FEHA (employers with 5 or more employees) provide sexual harassment training to all employees, not just supervisory employees.  In addition, the sexual harassment training will be required to include bystander intervention training, which includes information and practical guidance on how to enable bystanders to recognize potentially problematic behaviors and to motivate bystanders to take action when they observe such behavior.

SB 1300 takes a comprehensive approach to addressing sexual harassment and provides a framework for strengthening our existing laws and training requirements, and ensuring that these rights cannot be contracted away by deceptive legal agreements. 

POSITION: Support.

SB 1038 helps combat harassment and discrimination in the workplace by clarifying that, like for claims for harassment, individuals may be held jointly and severally liable for retaliating against an individual, as prohibited under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).

Sexual harassment and other forms of discrimination are insidious problems that deny employees an equitable working environment, frequently pushing victims out of jobs and/or making it difficult for them to succeed and advance. One of the biggest barriers to effectively combating sexual harassment is the threat of retaliation many workers face when trying to speak out or file sexual harassment complaints. As many as 85% of women say they have experienced sexual harassment. However, 75% of those who have experienced it never report it.[1] The fear of retaliation, including a reduction in pay or work schedule, potential loss of employment and/or blacklisting, plagues workers of all wage levels, but is even more acute for low-wage workers who do not have the financial resources to absorb such consequences. And this fear is not unfounded. One study found that 75% of employees who spoke out against workplace mistreatment faced some form of retaliation.[2] Other studies have found that sexual harassment reporting is often followed hostility and reprisals against the victim.[3]

SB 1038 addresses this barrier to victims coming forward by holding individuals accountable if they try to interfere with or threaten someone who has made a sexual harassment claim or opposes such practices.

Under current law, individuals may be held personally liable for harassment claims under the FEHA.  In addition, the FEHA’s retaliation protections make it an unlawful employment practice “[f]or any ․ person to discharge, expel, or otherwise discriminate against any person because the person has opposed any practices forbidden [by the FEHA] or because the person has filed a complaint, testified, or assisted in any proceeding under [the FEHA].” (Italics added.) The word “person” was added to the retaliation provision of the FEHA in 1987, effective January 1, 1988.[4]

Not only is the statutory language clear that individuals can be held liable for retaliation just as they can for harassment, but to find otherwise would run contrary to the purpose of the FEHA to combat harassment and discrimination in the workplace. To expose a supervisor to individual liability for harassing an employee, while at the same time shielding that supervisor from liability for retaliating against the employee for opposing that conduct, incentivizes individuals who harass to retaliate against employees who speak out about such behavior.  Indeed, in recognition of this fact, at least ten other states hold individuals liable for retaliation claims.

SB 1038 provides an important clarification to ensure that our state law against discrimination and harassment is interpreted in line with its plain language and purpose. It will discourage individuals from taking retaliatory action against workers who are trying to exercise their legal rights under FEHA by holding them personally accountable for such conduct.

[1] See Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace, Report of Co-Chairs Chai R. Feldblum & Victoria A. Lipnic, https://www1.eeoc.gov//eeoc/task_force/harassment/report.cfm?renderforprint=1#_ftnref65 [2] See Lilia M. Cortina & Vicki J. Magley, Raising Voice, Risking Retaliation: Events Following Interpersonal Mistreatment in the Workplace, 8:4 J. Occupational Health Psychol. 247, 255 (2003). [3] See Mindy Bergman, Regina Day Langhout & Patrick A. Palmieri, The (Un)Reasonableness of Reporting: Antecedents and Consequences of Reporting Sexual Harassment, 87(2) J.Applied Psychology 230 (2002). [4] Stats.1987, ch. 605, § 1, p.1942, enacted by Assembly Bill No. 1167 (1987-1988 Reg. Sess.).

POSITION: Support.


AB 1870 extends the time for filing harassment and discrimination claims under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).

Currently, a harassment victim must file a pre-litigation claim with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) within one year of the unlawful act, or she will face an absolute time bar and will be unable to seek administrative or civil redress in court. This bill would extend this pre-filing requirement from one year to three years, allowing victims additional time to seek redress, making it more consistent with the filing time limits for other actions.

Low wage earners are particularly harmed by the short filing time. Most low wage workers who suffered harassment or discrimination are not aware of their legal rights and do not know that that they are time barred if they do not file with the DFEH within a year.  By the time they realize harassment is against the law, they are usually past the time to file or close to having their statute expire. Extending the time to file a claim with the DFEH will allow parties additional time to resolve grievances outside of court, without feeling compelled to file a claim in order to meet the short filing deadline.

Most other types of harm have longer filing deadlines. For example, the time for filing an action for personal injury in California is two years; actions for fraud are three years; and contract disputes have a four-year time window.

Victims of harassment and discrimination should have time to file their claims with the Department commensurate with other types of civil actions, especially in light of the common barriers that exist, including trauma and a lack of awareness of their rights.

POSITION: Support.


AB 2682 would promote greater access to women’s health care. California and the United States face an urgent maternity workforce crisis that significantly curbs a woman’s ability to access safe health care, including family planning and care during labor and birth. We can no longer waste time, as this crisis has been years in the making. Nine California counties have NO practicing obstetrician and 19 counties have 5 or fewer obstetricians. There is now strong, mounting evidence that greater access to nurse-midwifery care is a critical strategy to curbing this crisis.

In California, nurse-midwives attend approximately 11% of the vaginal births, with 95% of all CNM-attended births taking place in a hospital setting. The evidence for improved outcomes and improved satisfaction with midwifery care is incontrovertible. Midwifery care has be shown to decrease the rates of:

  • cesarean deliveries
  • stillbirth and maternal mortality
  • severe perineal trauma (birth trauma)
  • severe blood loss
  • preterm births
  • newborns with low birthweight
  • newborn admissions to neonatal intensive care units.

Currently access to nurse-midwives is limited by antiquated physician supervision requirements. “Supervision” of nurse-midwives in California occurs in name only but not in practice. The law thereby tethers CNMs geographically and economically to where obstetricians already practice, without providing any actual oversight. This significantly restricts access to women’s health care without showing any benefit to patient safety, especially in rural and health practitioner shortage areas. Currently, California is one of only five states that still requires physician supervision.

AB 2682 would directly and positively affect the California health care system by providing for improved physician and nurse-midwife collaboration, improved access to health services, lower health care costs, improved quality of care, and greater innovation in health care delivery.

POSITION: Support.


AB 2601 Sets a foundational baseline for sexual health education in charter schools while maintaining significant flexibility for charters to decide what curriculum they adopt, what specific grades to provide instruction, and other curricular elements. AB 2601 enhances the California Healthy Youth Act (CHYA) (AB 329, Weber – 2015), which mandates that CA public school students receive comprehensive sexual health education and HIV prevention education at least once in middle school and in high school; instruction must be accessible for students with disabilities and English learners.

. The research is clear that young people need sexual health education: more than half of CA students are sexually active in the 12th grade; CA’s growing STI rates are highest in young people ages 15-24; nearly 12% and 10% of CA high school students experience sexual dating violence and physical dating violence, respectively.

As California seeks to address sexual harassment and abuse, comprehensive sexual health education—with its focus on healthy relationships, consent, and challenging negative gender stereotypes—is essential for preventing these negative behaviors before they start. A recent study found that sexual health education that addresses gender and power leads to better health outcomes for young people. Comprehensive sexual health education also supports student health in myriad other ways. For example, between 2015, when CHYA was enacted, and 2017, the percentage of sexually active CA students who used birth control increased, and the percentage of students who engaged in sexual activity with multiple partners decreased. LGBT-inclusive education has been shown to have a positive effect on school climate and make LGBT youth feel safer.

Unfortunately, California’s growing charter student population is not receiving the comprehensive sexual health education these youths need to succeed and stay healthy. California now has 1,275 charter schools, which serve 10% of California’s student population. Charter schools educate a diverse and often underserved student population: 59% of students are eligible for free and reduced lunch, and 72% are students of color. Latinos making up more than half of all charter students (51%). African Americans are a larger percentage of the charter school population (8%) than of traditional public schools (5%).

Quality sex education is especially critical for low-income communities and communities of color, which are affected by systemic discrimination, poverty, lack of access to health care, and lifelong health disparities. At a time when federal funding for adolescent sexual and reproductive health is being cut, California needs to do more to ensure that charter school students have the same access to comprehensive sexual health education as all other public school students. A 2017 study found that 85% of San Diego charter schools provided some sexual health education, but many failed to cover essential CHYA topics: only 53% provided instruction on birth control; 35% provided information on sexual orientation; and 29% educated students about talking with parents about sex and relationships.

POSITION: Support.



Nevada County Citizens for Choice promotes reproductive justice through education, healthcare access and advocacy.  Our overarching purpose is to inform and enable choice.

To further our reproductive justice goals, Citizens for Choice advocates in support of selected bills in the California legislature and in Congress.  Our legislative priorities for 2016 include:

  • Increasing easy access to a 12-month supply of contraceptives
  • Providing parental sick leave for pregnant and parenting students in public schools
  • Supporting a safety net of health and social services affecting women of reproductive age, including CalWORKS incentives for the success of new mothers in the workforce
  • Improving the fairness of the criminal justice system treatment of human trafficking victims
  • Ending the Hyde amendments’ ban on use of federal Medicaid funds for abortion

All of these California priorities were addressed in bills enacted this year, by the end of the 2016 legislative session in the fall.  Perhaps our most significant victory was a long awaited one:  the repeal of the Maximum Family Grant Rule, which prevented families in the CalWORKS program from receiving additional monetary support for newborns.  The sole federal priority, ending the use of Hyde amendments to deny poor women public funding for abortions, has not yet seen action by our Congress.  However, momentum is building to end this blatantly unfair denial of women’s reproductive rights, and we will continue our efforts to see that it is.


POSITION: Support.



AB 1760 (Asm. Santiago, Sen. Liu)—Safe Harbor for Trafficked Children

Co-sponsors: National Council of Jewish Women-California and the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking. Grants immunity to trafficked children from prosecution, creates an interagency working group focused on the needs of children who are trafficked, and requires the development of a state plan to serve and protect child trafficking victims by January 30, 2018, and its presentation to the legislature and governor.

STATUS: Introduced on February 2, 2016.  In Assembly, referred to Public Safety Committee and Human Services Committee.  Passed as amended in Public Safety Committee on April 12, 7-0. Passed as amended in Human Services Committee on April 21, 6-0.  Amended in Appropriations Committee on April 26; after hearing, referred to suspense file on May 11; held under submission on May 27.


POSITION: Support.

AB 1761 (Weber)—Human Trafficking Victims Affirmative Defense

Co-sponsors: National Council of Jewish Women-California and the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking

Helps ensure that human trafficking victims are not convicted of non-violent crimes their traffickers force them to commit and mandates that courts dismiss any charge arising from a commercial sex act against a minor.  The bill creates a human trafficking affirmative defense.

POSITION: Support.

STATUS: Introduced on February 2, 2016.  In Assembly, amended in the Public Safety Committee on March 28; passed, as amended April 13, 6-0. In Appropriations Committee, passed as amended May 11, 19-1. Passed on the floor on May 19, 69-3.

In the Senate, passed in the Public Safety Committee, 6-1, on June 28.  In Appropriations Committee, placed on second reading file on August 1.  Amended on August 19.  Passed on the floor on August 23, 36-1 (no vote recorded for Gaines).

In the Assembly, concurred in the Senate Amendments, 68-6 (Dahle voted “Aye”), on August 29.

POSITION: Support.


AB 1762 (Campos)—Vacating Convictions of Human Trafficking Victims

Co-sponsors: National Council of Jewish Women-California and the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking

Ensures that trafficking survivors do not face long-term barriers to employment and housing due to convictions they were forced to commit by their traffickers by allowing them to vacate their convictions for all non-violent crimes their traffickers forced them to commit.

POSITION: Support.

STATUS: Introduced on February 2, 2016.  In Assembly, passed as amended, in the Public Safety Committee on March 29, 5-1-1.  In Appropriations Committee, amended after hearing on April 5; passed as amended on May 27, 14-5.  Passed on floor on June 2, 53-19.

In the Senate, passed in the Public Safety Committee, 6-1, on June 28.  In Appropriations Committee, amended and passed on August 11, 5-2.  Amended on August 19.  Passed on the floor on August 23, 26-44 (Gaines voted “No”).

The Assembly concurred in the Senate amendments on August 29, 52-24 (No recorded voted for Dahle).

Vetoed by the Governor on September 26, 2016, with the following message:  “This bill creates a process for victims of human trafficking to petition for dismissal of convictions and arrests that occurred while they were a victim of trafficking.   I signed SB 823 (Block), which accomplishes much the same intent as this bill, but creates a more balanced procedural approach in my view.” (Dahle and Gaines both voted “No” on this similar bill.)


POSITION: Support.

AB 1954 (Burke), Direct Access to Reproductive Health Act

Co-sponsors:   California Family Health Council, California Latinas for Reproductive Justice, NARAL Pro-Choice California, and Black Women for Wellness

Would allow individuals enrolled in commercial health plans to go out of network if they lack timely access to comprehensive reproductive and sexual health care from an appropriate in-network provider. The measure will also prohibit health insurance plans from requiring a referral prior to a patient accessing this essential health care.

POSITION: Support.  On April 13, 2016, sent letter of support to Asm. Health Committee Chair, Jim Wood, via CFHC’s Sylvia Castillo.

STATUS:  Introduced on February 12, 2016.   In Assembly, amended on April 13; amended and passed on April 21, 14-4.  In Appropriations Committee, amended April 25; amended and passed May 5, 15-5.  Amended on the floor, May 9; passed May 23, 53-23.

In the Senate, amended in the Health Committee on June 13; amended and passed, 7-2, on June 22.  Passed in Appropriations Committee on August 11, 5-2.  Amended on August 17.  Passed on the floor on August 22, 28-11 (Gaines voted “No”).

The Assembly concurred in the Senate amendments on August 29, 59-19 (Dahle voted “No”).

Signed by the Governor on September 23, 2016, became law.

SB 10 (Lara) Providing Californian Immigrants Access to Covered California

Co-sponsor:  California Latinas for Reproductive Justice

Would remove an exclusion from Covered California that prevents undocumented immigrants and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients from purchasing a health plan in our state marketplace, with coverage to be effective as of January 1, 2019.  Requires eligible individuals to pay the full cost, without federal subsidies.

POSITION: Support.

STATUS: Introduced on December 1, 2014.  In the Senate, passed in the Gov. Ops. Committee, 7-0. On April 28, 2015; passed in Appropriations Committee, 5-2, on May 28, 2015.  Passed on the floor, 28-9, on June 3, 2015.

In the Assembly, passed in the A & A.R. Committee with author amendments on July 7, 2015; passed in the Judiciary Committee, 11-0, on April 14, 2016; passed in the Health Committee, 12-3, on April 26, 2016; passed in Appropriations Committee, 14-6, on May 18, 2016.  Passed on the floor, with an urgency clause, on May 31, 2016, and ordered back to the Senate.

In the Senate, the urgency clause was adopted and the assembly amendments concurred in, 28-10, on June 2, 2016.

Signed by the Governor on June 10, 2016, became law.

SB 23 (Mitchell), Repeal of Maximum Family Grant rule for CalWORKS.

Co-sponsors:   Access Women’s Health Justice, CLRJ, ACLU-CA, Western Center on Law and Poverty, East Bay Community Law Center, County Welfare Directors Assn.

Successor to 2014’s SB 899.  Protects health and safety of children born into poverty, ending California’s intrusion into private reproductive and medical decisions of poor families.  Current law bars California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKS) assistance for any child born into a household when any member is receiving aid.  Otherwise, new parents would receive about $122/month in additional benefits.  Exemptions to the MFG rule include when a child is conceived from incest, rape or the failure of an approved contraceptive.  Mothers who must thus prove that such an exception exists are denied reproductive autonomy and privacy.

POSITION: Support.  Sent letter of support to Mike McGuire, chair of the Senate Committee on Human Resources, on January 30, 2015.  Sent letter of support to Assembly Human Services Committee chair Kansen Chu, on June 18, 2015.

STATUS: Introduced on December 1, 2014.  Passed in Sen. Human Resources Committee, 4-0, on 03/25.  Passed in Sen. Approps. Com. 5-1 on 5/28/15.  Passed in Senate 27-6 on 6/01/15. (No vote was recorded for Nevada County’s Senator Ted Gaines.)

In the Assembly, passed in the A & A.R. Committee with author amendments on July 7, 2015; passed in the Judiciary Committee, 11-0, on April 14, 2016; passed in the Health Committee, 12-3, on April 26, 2016; passed in Appropriations Committee, 14-6, on May 18, 2016.  Passed on the floor, with an urgency clause, on May 31, 2016, and ordered back to the Senate.

In the Senate, the urgency clause was adopted and the assembly amendments concurred in, 28-10, on June 2, 2016.

Signed by the Governor on June 10, 2016, became law.

SB 999 (Pavley) 12-month supply of birth control pills

Co-sponsors:   NARAL, California Family Health Council, Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California

Would improve women’s access to birth control by allowing women to access up to 12-months’ worth of FDA-approved self-administered hormonal contraceptives at one time.  The bill requires all health care service plans and health insurers (including Medi-Cal managed care plans) to cover a year’s supply of these forms of birth control (including oral contraceptives, transdermal patches, and vaginal rings) when dispensed at one time; and permits pharmacists who furnish self-administered hormonal contraceptives under protocol developed by the Board of Pharmacy to dispense up to a 12-month supply at one time, upon request.  As amended, the bill does not require that a 12-month supply of contraceptives be prescribed or provided at one time, and does not require health plans to cover contraceptives provided out-of-network.

POSITION: Support.  Sent letter of support to Christina Romero of PPAC, to forward to Jerry Hill, Chair, and other members of the Senate Business, Professions, and Economic Development Committee and to the author on March 25, 2016.

STATUS: Introduced on February 10, 2016.  In the Senate, referred to Business, Professions, and Economic Development Committee and Health Committee.  Passed, as amended, on April 4, 2016, in the Business, Professions, and Economic Development Committee, 7-0.  Amended and passed in the Health Committee on April 13, 7-1.  Passed in the Appropriations Committee on May 16, 5-1.  Passed on the floor on May 23, 29-6.

In the Assembly, passed in the Health Committee, 13-0, on June 14, 2016; passed in the Business & Professions Committee, as amended, 13-2, on June 28.  Passed in the Appropriations Committee, as amended, on August 3, 15-3.  Amended on August 19.  Passed on the floor on August 24, 68-8 (No vote recorded for Dahle).

Senate concurred in Assembly amendments on August 26, 30-6 (Gaines voted “No”).

Signed by the Governor on September 23, 2016, became law.

SB 1014 (Liu), Pregnant and parenting pupil rights

Co-sponsors:  Black Women for Wellness

Provides parental sick leave for pregnant and parenting students in public schools.   Aims to remove barriers to student success and enable better parenting.  The Senate Appropriations Committee’s analysis is that the state could incur costs as high as $30-40 million annually (the largest cost resulting from allowing school districts to claim average daily attendance (ADA) funding for students when they are on parental leave).

POSITION: Support.

Sent letters of support to Senate Education Committee on March 8, 2016; to Senate Appropriations Committee on May 13; to Assembly Appropriations Committee on August 2.

STATUS: Introduced on February 11, 2016.  In Senate, amended and passed in the Education Committee on March 16, 9-0.  Hearing held in the Appropriations Committee on April 11, when the bill was put on the suspense file; passed as amended on May 27, 6-1.  Passed on floor on June 2, 38-0.

In the Assembly, passed in the Education Committee, as amended, 7-0, on June 22, 2016.  Amended in the Appropriations Committee on August 1; after August 11 hearing, held in committee under submission.


Budget Act of 2016

The budget bill included funds to cover eliminating the maximum family grant rule. The budget bill also included an increase of $5 million in STD funding.

POSITION: Support.  Sent a support letter to the Governor on June 22, 2016, regarding repeal of the MFG Rule.

STATUS:  Governor signed the budget bill on June 27, 2016.

AB 1603, Public Social Services Omnibus budget bill.

The budget bill included funds to cover eliminating the maximum family grant rule (See SB 23 for history and status).

POSITION: Support.  Sent a support letter to the Governor on June 22, 2016.


AB 329 (Weber), California Healthy Youth Act (sex education)

Sponsors: ACLU of California, California Latinas for Reproductive Justice, Equality California, Forward Together, Planned Parenthood Affiliates of CA

Promotes the health of California youth by mandating sexual health education in public schools, integrated into the current HIV/AIDS prevention education mandate. The bill will strengthen existing law to ensure that students receive both HIV prevention education and comprehensive sex education that is medically accurate, objective and unbiased, in grades 7 – 12 (at least once in junior high or middle school and once in high school).  It authorizes optional age appropriate instruction in lower grades, as well.  It will update outdated information and bolster existing requirements.

POSITION: Support.

STATUS: Enacted in 2015, effective January 1, 2016.  In order to implement the new requirements, the California Health Framework sections on sex education need to be updated, to address how to teach to the standards.  Funds were included in the budget for 2016, so that process can get started.  Meanwhile, school districts may be reimbursed for some implementation costs.  A model policy has been prepared by the School Boards Association.  Also needed is an updated textbook on sex education, which may not be accomplished by textbook publishers until 2020.  A toolkit and other implementation resources are available from the ACLU.

NOTE:  The fall 2016 meeting of the Sex Education Roundtable will address implementation.

AB 775 (Chiu, Burke), Reproductive FACT (Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care, and Transparency) Act (CPC required disclosures)

Co-Authors: Atkins, Rendon, Wood

Sponsors:  NARAL Prochoice CA, Black Women for Wellness

Requires certain licensed providers of pregnancy-related services to provide specific information (by posting or distributing) to those served about their reproductive health rights, including:

(1) rights under the Reproductive Privacy Act to use birth control, bear a child or have an abortion; and

(2) health insurance coverage of reproductive health services for lower-income individuals, with a contact phone number.

Further requires unlicensed providers of pregnancy-related services to clearly post and include in their advertising a statement that they are not medical facilities licensed by the state of California and do not have a licensed medical provider on staff.

The bill aims to ensure that California women receive the information they need to make well-informed decisions regarding their pregnancy options and obtain the care they need.  One reason the bill is needed is to make prospective and current clients of crisis pregnancy centers aware that the centers are not medical facilities, are not licensed, and do not provide prenatal care or comprehensive reproductive healthcare or referrals.  Noncompliance by either type of facility is subject to fines:  $500 for the first violation if not corrected within 30 days, and $1,000 for subsequent offenses.

POSITION: Support enforcement.  On March 15, 2016, Citizens for Choice and Business & Professional Women of Nevada County representatives delivered petitions to Grass Valley City Council and Nevada County Board of Supervisors, urging enforcement.  It was reported by KNCO that same day that the City Council had settled the case, agreeing not to enforce AB 775 until its pending law suit in California — one of four cases filed in federal district courts in the state, along with one in a superior court in Riverside County — has been resolved. As of mid-June, 2016, three local enforcement authorities had settled their cases.

STATUS: Enacted in 2015, effective January 1, 2016.   As of October 2016, in the federal case involving the Nevada County crisis pregnancy center (Livingwell Medical Clinic v. Harris, Northern District of California), Livingwell’s  appeal of the denial of a motion for a preliminary injunction is pending before the 9th Circuit.  Trial in the district court is not yet scheduled.


HR 1974 (Michelle Lujan Grisham) Health Equity & Access under the Law (HEAL) for Immigrant Women & Families Act.

As of October, 2015, there were 43 cosponsors.

Restores coverage so immigrants authorized to live and work in the United States can participate in the health care programs their tax dollars support. Ensures that all lawfully present immigrants can access affordable coverage for which they are otherwise eligible, by:

  • Restoring full-scope Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to all lawfully present immigrants who are otherwise eligible. The bill removes the discriminatory legal barriers to health coverage imposed by the 1996 welfare law for Medicaid and CHIP eligibility, and eliminates the five-year waiting period.
  • Removing the exclusion of individuals granted deferred action from the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Medicaid, and CHIP. The bill would allow all deferred action recipients to obtain Medicaid or CHIP coverage if otherwise eligible and to purchase qualified health plans in the Marketplace, obtain premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions, and enroll in the Basic Health Program. In doing so, the bill restores health coverage access to public and affordable health coverage for those granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and those who will gain new forms of administrative relief via a deferred action program (like the new Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or DAPA program).
  • Reinstating Medicaid eligibility for COFA migrants, or citizens of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of Palau, under the Compacts of Free Association (COFA), who were inadvertently barred from the Medicaid program by the 1996 welfare law.

POSITION: Support.   Confirmed support by adding our name to a joint statement of support circulated by the Guttmacher Institute on June 18, 2015, to Representative Lujan Grisham.  Contact: Kinsey Hasstedt, MPH, khasstedt@guttmacher.org.  Also endorsed a potential Senate version on October 27, 2015.

STATUS: Introduced 04/22/2015.  In House, referred to Energy & Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Health, and to Ways & Means Committee Subcommittee on Health. No action since.

HR  2972 (Barbara Lee)  Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance (EACH Woman) Act

Seeks to ensure that all women have coverage for abortion care, overriding Congressional “Hyde Amendment” bans on Medicaid coverage for abortion and similar state bans restricting public (Medicaid) and private insurance coverage for abortion.

POSITION: Support.   Agreed to sign on to a letter to the President, asking him to take a stand against the Hyde Amendment in the Fiscal Year 2017 budget.

STATUS: Introduced 07/08/2015.  In House, referred to Energy & Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Health; Ways & Means Committee; and Oversight & Government Reform Committee.



FY2017 Appropriations budget Item:  funding for Family Planning under Title X of the Public Health Service Act, the only dedicated source of federal funding for family planning services, providing vital support to clinics serving low-income individuals.

POSITION: Support continued funding, oppose spending cuts.


The current funding for fiscal year 2016 is $286,479,000.  For the 2017 fiscal year, the Senate Appropriations Committee for Labor, HHS and Education reported S. 3040 on 6/09/16, recommending the same level of funding in S. Rpt. 114-274.  The House Appropriations Committee for Labor, HHS and Education reported HR 5926 on 7/14/2016, recommending 0 funding in H.Rpt. 114-699.

HR 5325,  the Continuing Appropriations bill that sets funding through December 9, 2016, sets levels at a slight decrease from the FY2016 levels, including Title X.   (See H.Rpt. 114-594).


Citizens for Choice Activists ~ By Kimberly D’Urso, April 7th, 2015
Yesterday I had the great opportunity to attend Reproductive Freedom Day at our State Capitol. I represented Citizens for Choice, URGE (United for Reproductive & Gender Equity), and CCRF (California Coalition for Reproductive Freedom.) After the morning tutorial on the bill summaries and advocacy training, I, along with others, participated in five legislative visits to Assembly members and Senate members to lobby for support of three bills: AB 329, SB 23, and AB 302. This event was interesting and fun to be a part of. If you would like to participate on future dates as these bills progress, please contact Citizens for Choice directly at: info@citizensforchoice.org . Thank you for your continued support of our volunteer efforts. Together, we are Citizens for Choice.

URGE_April 2015_LR

February 26th, 2015SF-Prolife
Honesty in Advertising, a Victory!

“A federal judge has upheld San Francisco’s regulation of self-described “crisis pregnancy centers,” clinics run by anti-abortion groups that offer free services to pregnant women.”
In a ruling issued Friday February 20th, 2015, a US District Judge ruled that the San Francisco city ordinance, prohibiting clinics from engaging in false or misleading advertising, can be upheld because it “only restricts false and misleading commercial speech, which is not protected by the First Amendment.” This is discouraging news for clinics like First Resort who try to hide their agenda under the guise of “free speech” when in actuality, their agenda is to build an abortion-free world. Read more on this recent victory in SF Gate


September, 29, 2014

SB 1053 (Mitchell) – Contraceptive Coverage Equity Act, HAS BEEN SIGNED!!!

This bill will ensure access to the full range of contraceptive methods approved by the Food and Drug Administration for all women in California without cost sharing, delays or denial of coverage.

SB 967  – Sexual assault affirmative consent standard on college campuses, HAS BEEN SIGNED!!!

SB 1135 – Incarcerated women sterilization ban, HAS BEEN SIGNED!!!


Below are a list of bills to come to pass, and more legislation slated for CA (updated, September 26th, 2014)

The following bills are on the Governor’s desk awaiting his signature by September 3oth.

  • SB 1094 (Lara) –Attorney General Oversight of hospital mergers: This measure would  help maintain community access to crucial hospital-based services such as reproductive health care by increasing the Attorney General’s authority and time to review hospital mergers.

Resolution of support completed:

  • SR 55 (Jackson) –CA Senate’s support for US Senate Bill 2578 (Not My Boss’s Business Act), which would overrule the Hobby Lobby S.Ct. decision, and require private employers to cover contraceptives, regardless of personal religious views.  In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the Hobby Lobby case, SR 55 affirms the rights of women to control their reproductive health care.

Going into affect:

  • Last year’s SB 138, the dependents’ confidential communications protections bill, goes into effect January 1, 2015.  California Family Health Council will have an informational website about how the protections work, to be available on December 4 at  myhealthmyinfo.org.


  • SB 899, Repeal of Maximum Family Grant rule for CalWORKS. (May be reintroduced next session.)

Upcoming CA Propositions:

Proposition 45:  expands the Insurance Commissioner’s authority to review CA insurance rates for individual plans and small business plans.  (Mixed views, pro and con; opposed by AAUW-CA, as giving too much power to one official.)

Proposition 46:  Raises limits on medical malpractice from $250,000 to $1 million, and requires drug testing of physicians.  (Opposed by California Family Health Council, Planned Parenthood, AAUW.)

Proposition 47:  Reduces the severity of some lower level, nonviolent offenses – such as drug possession and petty theft — from felonies to misdemeanors, unless the perpetrators have been convicted of prior serious crimes; adds a safe neighborhoods measure and loosens up the three-strikes law.  (Supported by ACLU and LWV.

Going Forward:  A new session will not begin until after January 5, 2015 – when the cycle for new bills will start.


SB 1053 (Updated August 20, 2014)  

  • The bill is needed to ensure that women get expanded insurance coverage for contraceptives of their own choice, without out-of-pocket costs, by strengthening the contraceptive coverage requirement in the federal Affordable Care Act for California women.

We will be keeping this site updated as this moves along from here. Thanks to everyone who wrote, called or emailed your representatives in support of this very important bill.

  • Background: The Women’s Health Amendment in the federal health reform law (the Affordable Care Act) requires most health insurance carriers to cover the full range of FDA-approved birth control methods and voluntary sterilization services, without any out-of-pocket costs for female enrollees and dependents. While this requirement was a significant step forward, related federal regulations allowed for “reasonable medical management techniques” to be applied in the context of contraceptive coverage, but did not include a definition of the term. This lack of clarity has led to inadequate and inconsistent implementation of the contraceptive coverage provision. The result is women across the nation and state being denied the birth control method of their choice or having to wait or pay out of pocket for the method prescribed by their health care provider.   Citizens For Choice supports SB 1053 The Legislature intends to build on existing state and federal law to ensure greater contraceptive coverage equality and timely access to all Federal Food and Drug Administration approved methods of birth control for all individuals covered by health care service plan contracts and health insurance policies in California. Introduced by: Senator Holly Mitchell (D) To read more about the entire bill: http://bit.ly/1i9zMUn



 Elaine with Kathleen Mossburg, on behalf of California Family Health Council, outside Assembly Appropriations Committee room.

Elaine with Kathleen Mossburg, on behalf of California Family Health Council, outside Assembly Appropriations Committee room.


 #CAbills4women Nevada County nonprofit applauds California for bucking national trend:   bills will protect and expand women’s reproductive health access

 On Tuesday, August 5, 2014, President Kimberly D’Urso of Citizens for Choice joined leaders from the  California Legislative Women’s Caucus and other women’s reproductive health and rights organizations in a “California bills 4 women” press conference and rally on the steps of the State Capitol in Sacramento.  Key speakers included Asm. Bonnie Lowenthal, Chair of the Legislative Women’s Caucus, Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, Vice Chair of the Legislative Women’s Caucus, Sen. Holly Mitchell, Nourbese Flint of Black Women for Wellness, and Lynne Riddle, retired Federal JudgeThe purpose of the event was to call attention to three bills important to protecting and expanding access to women’s reproductive health care.

 Kimberly participated in the press conference and rally as a representative of Nevada County citizens who support California’s continuing efforts to pass proactive legislation protecting women’s access to a full complement of reproductive health services – even as conservatives across the nation move to restrict women’s reproductive health.  More than 468 bills trying to regulated women’s bodies have been introduced in states outside California this year alone – 624 in 2013.  That’s a travesty.  It’s a model we stand up and oppose by demonstrating our support for the three California bills featured in the “California bills 4 women” rally.

Senator Holly Jackson.. Author of SB1053

Senator Holly Jackson.. Author of SB1053


Susan Berke Fogel (on right) of The California Coalition for Reproductive Freedom (CCRF)

Susan Berke Fogel (on right) of The California Coalition for Reproductive Freedom (CCRF)

Kimberly D'Urso. President Nevada County Citizens for Choice

Kimberly D’Urso. President Nevada County Citizens for Choice



S.2578: Protect Women’s Health From Corporate Interference Act (July 16, 2014)  Okay politicians, you want to play hardball all the way to the polls, we say Game on!  Today Senate Republicans voted against the bill to correct the atrocities of the Hobby Lobby verdict. Going further to offer their own bill—which essentially points out what we already know and are fighting for—that birth control cannot be denied under the ACA.  While we at Citizens for Choice are very disappointed about this recent let down, we off you yet another opportunity to make your voice heard. Please go to: http://bit.ly/1nxwQjR  and sign the petition joining the dissent of the Hobby Lobby decision. The details on this bill can be read here: Bill.Corp Interference Act.reverse Hobby Lobby. If you want to do some forehead face palms over the GOP’s own version of the legislation you can read more here: http://huff.to/1zJNMNZ   Tug of war   Hobby Lobby legacy continues over summer break (July 7, 2014) Last week finished off with celebration of Independence Day for our country, but for many there was little to celebrate. By day two of the Hobby Lobby ruling, the very premise of having to fill out paperwork in objection to providing birth control has taken front stage. Wheaton College, Illinois responds to the ruling with a new law suit… “school’s administrators and lawyers went so far as to suggest filling out paperwork raising moral objections to birth control – which, again, is abortion in their eyes – is practically the same thing as endorsing the moral wrong itself. The college filed a federal case and on Thursday, the Supreme Court granted emergency relief – an extremely rare event – ensuring Wheaton won’t have to do the paperwork, despite what the same court justices said on Monday.” Our justices having gone back on their word to not deviate from the iniial case, have done just that and left for vacation. to read the full article: http://on.msnbc.com/1jgIYKZ    Hobby Lobby Ruling (Updated June 30, 2014) Today our nation took two steps backwards in the Supreme Court ruling favoring Hobby Lobby.  At Citizens for Choice, we stand behind every person’s right for access to affordable contraception.  Read More: http://bit.ly/1rfiZFW   Starting January 1, 2015, with Senate Bill 138 (SB 138)  Californians insured under another person’s health  insurance policy will have new confidentiality protections, including youth, young adults and spouses. In order to trigger the confidentiality protections offered by SB 138, patients will have to submit confidential communications requests to their health plans and insurers. Covered CA FORM.  This will require patient education and outreach.Citizens for Choice and Women’s Health Specialists are commited to your patient rights.  To learn more about this bill abd how it affects you visit: http://bit.ly/TqJOrUSB138 Buffer Zones in Massachusetts  (Updated July 1, 2014  )  The Supreme Court decided in McCullen vs. Coakley: Buffer zones near abortion clinics: the Court rejects buffer zones around abortion clinics. Read more: http://lat.ms/1z6dpYX     Citizens For Choice supports SB899 The Maximum Family Grant rule infringes upon the rights of women and families to make their own reproductive decisions, has been proven to be ineffective in its goal of reducing the number of children born into poverty, and is explicitly prejudiced against poor families and children born into poverty. SB 899 was unexpectedly held in Senate Appropriations last Friday, but we still have a chance toget the MFG rule repealed through the budget. A link to the bill can be found here: http://bit.ly/1ps9tOL Call Governor Jerry Brown, Senator Darrell Steinberg, and Speaker Toni Atkins and urge them to repeal the MFG rule through the budget process. Governor Jerry Brown: 916-445-2841 Senator Darrell Steinberg: 916-651-4006 Speaker Toni Atkins: 916-319-2078 SB899_Meme


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.

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