AB 1666 would protect Californians from civil liability for providing or obtaining abortion care
Sacramento CA – Monday, Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan’s bill AB 1666 passed off the Assembly floor with a bipartisan vote of 56 to 12. AB 1666 protects those in California from civil liability for providing, aiding, or receiving abortion care. The bill was recently amended to add an urgency clause so the protections will go into effect immediately should it pass the Senate and receive the governor’s signature. The bill is sponsored by Planned Parenthood California.
“The Supreme Court has completely abandoned abortion rights. It’s now up to states like California to fight for them,” said Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan. Laws banning abortion and attacking this basic right of healthcare are pouring in from across the country. AB 1666 ensures safe essential care stays legal in California. It puts up a legal shield for our doctors, providers and patients against attacks from the radical-right extremists who seek to strip women of their fundamental rights.”
AB 1666 declares any action brought against the right to abortion to be against the public policy of California, and therefore not to be enforced by California courts. The right to an abortion is enshrined in California’s constitution. With the Supreme Court set to overturn Roe, this is an essential protection in the new murky legal national landscape. AB 1666 makes it possible for California to protect California providers and patients in the face of an onslaught of reactionary and restrictive policies.
“AB 1666 will allow California providers to continue to provide essential and timely health care, like abortion, with decreased risks of potential liability, particularly with regards to helping people forced to seek care here in California rather than in their home state due to hostile, extreme, and dangerous restrictions or outright bans,” said Molly Robson, Legislative Director for Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California. “These precautions and protections are necessary given the increased hostility and frequency of abortion bans in other states seeking to target patients and providers. Taking this action now is crucial as we prepare for the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v Wade and unleash a flood of hostile bans in more than 40 states.”
AB 1666 is part of a suite of bills from the California Future of Abortion Council, which convened community leaders, advocates, providers and policy makers to shape legislative and budget priorities for reproductive healthcare. The bill has been developed in consultation with constitutional law experts and abortion providers to speak to the unprecedented moment for reproductive rights in the United States.
“I have seen first-hand the effects of limiting access to abortion. Patients are forced to delay their care, travel hundreds if not thousands of miles, face financial difficulties and time away from work, just to undergo straightforward and safe medical procedure” said Dr. Selina Sandoval, MD, on behalf of the American College of OBGYN’s District IX.
AB 1666 is now headed to the state Senate for consideration. The bill is co-authored by 40 members including Aguiar-Curry (D-Winters), Berman (D-Palo Alto), Bennett (D-Santa Barbara), Bloom (D-Beverly Hills), Bryan (D-Culver City), Boerner-Horvath, ), (D – Oceanside), Mia Bonta (D-Oakland), Calderon (D- Whittier), Carrillo (D- Los Angeles), Cervantes (D-Corona), Daly (D-Anaheim),Gabriel (D-Woodland Hills), Friedman (D-Glendale), Cristina Garcia (D- Bell Gardens), Cooper (D-Elk Grove), Haney (D-San Francisco) Lee (D-Santa Clara), Levine (D-Marin), Kalra (D-San Jose), Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton),Robert Rivas (D-Salinas), Luz Rivas (D-Arleta), Mullin (D-San Mateo), Friedman (D-Burbank), Stone (D-Santa Cruz), Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks), Low (D–San Jose), Mullin (D-San Mateo), Maienschein (D-Poway), McCarty (D-Sacramento), Medina (D-Riverside), Muratsuchi (D-Torrance), Nazarian (D- Van Nuys), Petrie-Norris (D-Newport Beach), Santiago (D-Los Angeles), Ting (D-San Francisco), Akilah Weber (D-San Diego), Ward (D-San Diego), Wicks (D-Berkeley) and Wood (D-Eureka), Senators Wiener (D-San Francisco), Leyva (D-San Bernadino) Limón (D-Santa Barbara), and Min (D-Laguna Woods).