Abortion in California: Creating the easiest access in the US

This summer, the US Supreme Court will make a recommendation the most important challenge ga Roe v. Wade has since the 1973 ruling affirmed his constitutional right to abortion.

If federal abortion protection is abolished or severely weakened – as legal experts think – there could be a total ban on entry into more than a dozen states. Already, six states are considering a so-called “ban on violence” ahead of this summer’s decision, while several other state legislators are considering a week-long ban. 15, abortion prevention and the ban enacted after the law that caused the Texas riots which authorized it. private individuals to sue anyone who helped someone have an abortion after six weeks.

California lawmakers intend to ignore the situation. Gov. Gavin Newsom of the Democrats wants to make the state “The Holy Place”For abortion seekers outside the state – and even recommend using state funds to cut their travel expenses. He has already signed into law a bill that will eliminate the cost of living for the people of California. The women’s wing of the state legislature has also introduced a package of 13 bills to further cut down barriers and protect the rights of patients and donors.

But the state has not always been the basis for birth control. It took years of black abortion, national rubella epidemic, global drug scandal, numerous major tests on doctors, and thousands of maternal deaths for California to initiate abortion . In fact, abortion was illegal here until 1967, when state legislatures passed the Sickness Act. He signed the law by then-Gov. Ronald Reagan – surprisingly one politician who later, as president, succeeded in reforming the “right-life” of the constitution.

In the coming years, California experienced differences in the presence of a remote state to allow for easy abortion. So how did we get here?

California guarantees abortion rights in state law and state. It costs abortion rates for low-income Californiaers over Medi-Cal, and requires personal insurance to cover it. And the state has ignored the idea of ​​requiring a waiting period or parental consent for an abortion.

Here is how her abortion policy compares to the rest of the country, based on a 12-point Guttmacher Center.

Note: The Guttmacher Center was founded as part of Planned Parenthood in 1968 but sought independent status after 10 years and ceased to receive financial contributions from Planned Parenthood more than a decade ago. Here are 12 criteria to assess abortion policy in the state:


  • Guarantee in the state constitution
  • Warranty in state law
  • Medicaid Warranty
  • Specialist physicians such as nurses are allowed to practice
  • Private health insurance is required


  • Abortion is prohibited before or after the fire
  • Need personal advice and waiting time
  • Medicaid coverage is limited
  • Contact with medication is prohibited
  • Parental consent is required
  • Hospital rules are imposed as a mandatory hospitalization

In the years before California decided on abortion and began to relax restrictions, Public opinion on the matter began to falter. As a result of the global thalidomide epidemic and rubella in the United States, California women are seeking illegal abortions in the herd.

Thalidomide is a sedative that was widely used in the 1950s to reduce morning sickness in pregnant women, but without the knowledge of doctors it causes serious damage to the developing fetus, including and hand deformities, kidney failure and cognitive impairment. Before many countries banned the drug, 10,000 “thalidomide” babies were born worldwide.

Many in California cross the southern border where a The black abortion industry is booming in MexicoBuffum’s 1953 decision moved him. But illegal methods come with a high cost: post-mortem, complications and death are common.

In a 1962 sitting before Congress, the State Public Health Officer Dr. Theodore Montgomery he testified that illegal abortions are the leading cause of death for pregnant women and are being linked one-third of all maternal deaths to the road.

Then – in the period before vaccination – The rubella epidemic has swept across the United States in 1964, it infected 12.5 million people. Infection during pregnancy came with severe consequences, and 20,000 children with Rubella were born, which included deafness, blindness and progressive disability.

The risks associated with rubella do not meet California’s legal abortion standards, however, and many women are looking for illegal methods in Mexico. When Dr. Leon Belous challenged a law passed by California law in the state Supreme Court, hospitals along the California border reported illnesses. hundreds of women a month with complications from unsatisfactory procedures.

In the years that followed Roe v. Wade, abortions are on the rise across the country, reaching 25 per 1,000 live births, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Since then, the number across the country has dropped by half.

Decreased abortion They are caused by infertility and low birth weight in general, which in turn is influenced by access to contraception and benefits.

California, however, stopped providing abortion information to the CDC in 1998 and does not follow current abortion numbers. Why? The California Department of Public Health told CalMatters that it has no information as to why it was unable to collect this information. The information obtained in public only comes from the Medi-Cal population of the state, which represents the low-income population.

In 2020, abortion services were reported to 100,741 enrollees.

First Trimester: 0-13 weeks

Abortion Treatment

  • Also known as “abortion pill”
  • In the first 10 weeks, advanced medicine may prescribe two medications – Miffrostol – to stop pregnancy.
  • Used together, these FDA approved drugs cause hemorrhoids and bleeding for uterine bleeding.

Vacuum Buri

  • Also known as surgical abortion
  • Up to 13 weeks, uterine rupture can be achieved by hand or mechanical suction
  • The procedure is performed in a doctor’s office, usually with anesthesia, and can be performed by a midwife, nurse or paramedic.

Second Trimester: 14-26 weeks

Dilation and export

  • Up to 24 weeks, pregnancy can be stopped by expanding the cervix and abortion with surgical instruments.
  • The procedure usually occurs under general anesthesia, meaning the patient is asleep, and must be administered by a physician.

Third trimester: 27-40 weeks

Abortion at the end of time

  • The fetus is considered probable if it reaches 24 weeks or weighs 500 grams
  • California law allows abortion after delivery only if the life or health of the pregnant woman is threatened

Starting in 2023 in California, all abortion-related services, including counseling and care, will be free. New law prevents insurance companies from placing deductibles, payments or dividends on the person seeking abortion.

The California Health Benefits Review estimates that the average out-of-pocket current $ 306 for medical abortion and $ 887 for abortion.

Medi-Cal, a state insurance scheme for low-income residents, provides abortion services and state funds for the federal government, through Hyde Repair, prohibits most federal spending on abortion. California is one of them States 16 to pay for the abortion, and he does so under court order.

Under state law, abortion and related services are considered primary health care and must be covered by all insurers, except personal insurance. California and New York are the only two states that require private insurance to cover abortion.

Private insurance may require prior authorization, meaning the patient must seek permission from the insurer before having an abortion, but insurers are not allowed to refuse.

According to a UC San Francisco Study on out-of-pocket abortion rates, 7% of those seeking abortion have private coverage, compared to 34% with Medicaid (in California, Medi-Cal) and 29% who receive money from other groups.

Most Medi-Cal abortions have occurred among Californians in their 20s over the past seven years; they have 57% of abortions.

However, this age group also saw the largest reduction in abortion rates between 2014-2020, declining by 32%.

By 2021, California will have 165 abortions, according to UC San Francisco’s Development of a New Standard of Maternal Health Information. The number of places seems to have increased – from 151 places in 2017 – but still large areas of the state do not have a nearby abortion clinic.

Nearly 78% of California people live in a census system without a hospital – not necessarily an obstacle in big cities where many census pastors are short of buses or buses, but most likely not success for those living in remote rural areas where the census could exceed farmland and varieties. several counties.

And not all hospitals are created equal, according to UCSF researcher Ushma Upadhyay, who leads the data center. More than half of hospitals offer abortion pills alone, and they cannot implement procedures beyond 10 weeks of gestation.

In short, and in some states, Upadhyay says there is some evidence that most primary care providers prescribe abortion pills – but that cannot be proven in California because of the lack of data collection. state abortion.

Over the past two decades, the proportion of California adults who support legal abortion has increased altogether despite the fact that the issue has increased partially, according to the report. California Center for Public Policywho conducts non-partisan investigations across the state.

Today, Most California people support Roe v. Wadeguarantee of abortion, with 77% of adults responding that it should not be canceled.

This influence is maintained regardless of party affiliation, gender or race. Even among Republicans – the party with the highest number of voters opposed to abortion – 59% said they supported Roe.

Governor Newsom convened the meeting California Future of Abortion Council in September 2021, with over 40 abortion providers, consulting groups and councilors to study the state’s fertility status. The council has issued a list of 45 proposals, of which 14 have been approved.

The bill aims to reduce cost barriers, improve maternity health workers, and protect patients and providers from civilian and criminal liability. Scroll to see the status of each:

Kristen Hwang reports on CalMatters health care and policy. She is interested in developing stories related to personal data and examining the relationship between public health and social justice. Before joining …
More from Kristen Hwang

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