May 31, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Ana Sandoval, PPAC Communications, 916.446.5247 or
Amy Moy, California Family Health Council, 415.518.4465
California Assembly Votes to Increase Access to Birth Control
Maintains State’s Leadership on Women’s Health with the Passage of AB 2348
SACRAMENTO --This morning the California State Assembly voted to pass AB 2348 (Mitchell) – the Access to Birth Control Bill –with 43 Assembly members voting in favor of the measure, 28 voting against and 9 members not voting. The bill is expected to move to the Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee.
The vast majority of Californians – a full 89% - agree that birth control is an essential component of women’s health care. But even in California, thousands of women lack timely access to contraception, leaving them at significant risk of unintended pregnancy. In some parts of the state this is due to shortages of doctors and other health professionals authorized to order or furnish these medications. AB 2348 would help address this problem by allowing Registered Nurses to work within their scope and training to dispense hormonal birth control – some of the safest and widely used medications in the world - under a standardized procedure.
"We'd like to thank Asm. Holly Mitchell for her leadership in authoring AB 2348 and the members of the California Assembly who voted to increase access to birth control," said Kathy Kneer, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California. "Their votes clearly state that California supports women's reproductive health and will ensure that no matter where you live, ALL women should have timely access to birth control to prevent unintended pregnancies."
“All of the members who voted for AB 2348 today should be applauded. They understood that this sound public health policy will expand access to quality preventive health care for thousands of women across California,” said Julie Rabinovitz, President and CEO of California Family Health Council. “While states like Kansas, Arizona and Texas are making vital health care harder to get, California is proudly taking a different route.”
Many leading medical institutions, including the World Health Organization (WHO), the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), have developed evidence-based guidelines for use of hormonal contraceptives which are based on patient assessment, medical history, blood pressure, history of smoking and other basic elements that are well within the skills, training and scope of practice of RNs.
AB 2348 can help more women get the birth control they want when they need it without compromising quality care. That's why it has the backing of a broad coalition of health and women's organizations throughout California including United Nurses Association of CA/Union of Healthcare Professionals, California Primary Care Association, American Nurses Association, California; Women’s Community Clinic, Black Women's Health Project, California Latinas for Reproductive Justice, Black Women for Wellness, Women's Health Specialists, National Center for Youth Law, Sistersong, American Civil Liberties Union, California, and Physicians for Reproductive Choice & Health.
For the past two decades California has led the nation in efforts to prevent unintended pregnancy; however, we still have a large unmet need for publicly funded family planning services, particularly in rural areas of the state. Women shouldn't have to wait hours in a medical office or months to get an appointment for birth control. We can do better. That’s why California women need AB 2348 to become law.
California Family Health Council (CFHC) distributes federal Title X family planning funding to nearly 80 health care organizations throughout the state that collectively serve over 1.2 million Californians with sexual and reproductive health care services every year. CFHC also conducts advanced research in reproductive health technologies, leads health education, training and community outreach efforts and advocates to expand access to quality sexual and reproductive health care for all Californians. http://www.cfhc.org
Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California (PPAC) is a 501 (c) 4 organization, representing eight separately incorporated Planned Parenthood affiliates throughout California on statewide governmental issues. PPAC is one of 21 state public affairs offices of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Through advocacy and electoral action, PPAC promotes sound public policy in areas of reproductive and preventive health care, family planning and comprehensive sexual health education. http://www.PPactionCA.org