California Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom signed two pro-abortion bills into law last week that appear to respond to the recently enacted pro-life Texas Heartbeat Act. The new state laws extend abortion protections in radical ways.
Newsom’s office said in a statement on the signing that California “must do more” to protect “access to physical and reproductive rights” as a result of recent “unprecedented attacks on these rights.” The governor promised California would remain a “reproductive freedom state” despite Texas’s “dark days.”
One of the new laws makes it easier for minors to obtain abortions and transgender medical procedures and hide them from their parents.
The law allows any child on their parent’s health insurance to hide “sensitive” medical procedures obtained through age 26 from their parents. The procedures hidden from the parents or guardians providing the insurance to pay for them include abortions, puberty-blocking, and hormonal treatments.
The law was sponsored by Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California and was primarily written by Assemblyman David Chiu (D-San Francisco).
California law had previously allowed children at least 12 years old to consent to all the medical treatments covered and children of any age to obtain abortions. The new law goes further by prohibiting medical providers from seeking pre-approval from the person providing insurance coverage of procedures for any person named in their plan.
The law also requires the insurance provider to only communicate about the provided services with the “protected individual,” meaning the child. Disclosure of any information about the procedure to the owner of the policy is prohibited without the express permission of the child obtaining procedures.
Violation of the provisions of the new law by any healthcare provider or employee is a criminal offense.
The nine Republican members of the California Senate wrote to Newsom, asking him not to sign the new law. They wrote that the state should be “encouraging parents and family” to be more involved with their children’s lives and medical treatment. They added that the law improperly interferes with a parent’s right to participate in medical decisions affecting their children.
The other new law places new restrictions on protests outside abortion clinics in California, with additional penalties for violations.
It is now a crime in California to film within 100 feet of an abortion facility if the purpose of the filming is “intimidation.” It is now also a crime to post any personal information or images of patients, employees, or volunteers at a “reproductive health facility.”