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Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan Joins Governor Gavin Newsom as Her Bill to Protect Reproductive HealthCare Access is Signed into Law

AB 1356 will protect patients and providers from harassment and doxing at reproductive health clinics in response to uptick in extremist activity around California

For immediate release:

Sacramento, CA – Today in a virtual signing ceremony, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan’s (D-Orinda) bill, AB 1356, which secures a patient’s right to access reproductive healthcare safely and privately. When the bill goes into effect in January, it will ban aggressive doxing and increase fines for harassment at reproductive health clinics.

 “I’m proud that in California, we are stepping up to guarantee that women can access the reproductive healthcare which they not only need, but they have a legal right to access,” said Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan who serves as Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Reproductive Health. “AB 1356 is an absolutely essential step to safeguard this right that is threatened now more than ever.”

Extremist anti-reproductive rights protestors return to clinics statewide day after day to harass all who enter. They are well organized, well-funded, and undeterred by low fines. They aggressively film patients and providers, and post personal information about patients and providers on extremist websites. This doxing threatens patient safety for simply exercising their legal right to healthcare. AB 1356 updates laws untouched for over a decade to ban this type of harassment and doxing at clinics.

“As people face historic attacks and unimaginable restrictions to abortion from extreme politicians, California is providing an example of how to protect access to essential care. Reproductive health care providers deserve to feel safe when showing up to provide care, and patients deserve to feel safe when showing up to receive critical healthcare,” said Jodi Hicks, CEO Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California. “AB 1356 updates existing law to ensure safety and security. Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California thanks Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan for her leadership on this legislation.

True access to reproductive healthcare requires safety and privacy. When protestors harass patients and providers, they don’t just state their opinions – they fundamentally threaten a patient’s right to reproductive healthcare. Current law does not reflect these threats - online and in person – that have increased over the past decade. With Roe v. Wade in the hands of the states and the Supreme Court, protecting reproductive healthcare in California requires proactive measures like AB 1356.

AB 1356 was signed today in a virtual ceremony focused on the future of reproductive health care in California. In addition to Governor Newsom and Assemblywoman Bauer-Kahan, on hand were Jodi Hicks, CEO Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, Senate Pro Tem Toni Atkins, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, Jessica Pinckney, Executive Director of Access Reproductive Justice and Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco). In addition to AB 1356, Governor Newsom also signed Assembly Bill 1184 authored by Assemblymember David Chiu. AB 1184 provides critical privacy protections for patients around sensitive health care.

“I’m proud today to sign these two bills that demonstrate our dedication to strengthening and further protecting access to reproductive health care services in California,” said Governor Newsom. “Our state has been a leader in protecting access to sexual and reproductive rights, but as we’ve seen recently with unprecedented attacks on these rights, we can and must do more.”

"Patients should not forgo the health care they need because they are worried about their privacy being violated,” said Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco) said of his AB 1184. “With the signing of this bill, California is protecting and expanding access to crucial health care services for our most vulnerable.”

AB 1356 was sponsored by Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California and is proudly co-authored by Assemblymembers Aguiar-Curry (D-Winters), Boerner-Horvath (D – Oceanside), Cervantes (D-Corona), Gabriel (D-Woodland Hills), Friedman (D-Glendale), Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks), Carrillo (D-Los Angeles), Levine (D-San Rafael), and Blanca Rubio (D-WestCovina), and is supported by NARAL Pro Choice, and many other reproductive rights groups.

AB 1356 takes effect on January 1st, 2022 and AB 1184 goes into effect in July of 2022.