UPDATE, 3/23/2022: California Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB 245 on Tuesday, eliminating copays and out-of-pocket costs for abortion. He confirmed it’s a direct response to states putting pro-life laws in place. “As states across the country attempt to move us backwards by restricting fundamental reproductive rights, California continues to protect and advance reproductive freedom for all,” he said in a statement. “With this legislation, we’ll help ensure equitable, affordable access to abortion services so that out-of-pocket costs don’t stand in the way of receiving care.”
3/21/2022: Pro-abortion California lawmakers want to decrease the amount of money women pay out of pocket when getting an abortion, and they’re looking to force insurance companies to comply.
Thursday, lawmakers voted to lower co-pays and deductibles for abortion on private insurance plans. As it is, California requires private insurance companies to cover abortion procedures, but according to the California Health Benefits Review Program, the average cost of a chemical abortion is $543, and $887 for a surgical abortion. The only other states to ban these fees are also heavily pro-abortion states: New York, Illinois, and Oregon.
Should this bill pass, it would increase insurance premiums for California residents. But pro-abortion lawmakers seem to feel that it’s worth the extra money, regardless of taxpayers’ opinions.
“Protecting access to abortion is important now, more than ever, as our fundamental right to reproductive care is under attack in state houses across the country and in the chambers of our U.S. Supreme Court,” Assemblymember Akilah Weber told the Associated Press. Yet Jonathan Keller, president of the California Family Council, told the Associated Press that the move reveals the warped priorities of California lawmakers.
“The real tragedy is in the state we now are really treating abortion like we treat no other health care services,” he said. “We do not see the Assembly today, for example, vote to make dialysis free. We did not see the Assembly vote to make insulin free.”
This is the latest effort from California politicians to expand abortion within the state. Other efforts include forcing California’s taxpayers to pay for related travel expenses when women get abortions — including travel, hotel, meals, childcare, lost wages, and sick time. Politicians also announced plans to offer incentives for medical students to become abortionists, which would include the state paying their student loans. They also want to eliminate restrictions on abortion, and make the state an “abortion nirvana.”
The bill has passed the California Assembly and is now headed to the state senate for a vote.
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