AB 775: Forcing CPCs to Recommend Abortion in CA

On Tuesday, April 28th, California State Assembly Bill 775
passed the State Assembly’s Committee on the Judiciary (vote of 7-3) and is now
on its way to the Appropriations Committee of the State Assembly. AB 775 is
also known as “The Reproductive FACT Act” (Freedom, Accountability,
Comprehensive Care and Transparency),
which just sounds so positive and
unobjectionable, but it should have more accurately been named “The
Reproductive CRAP Act”
(Coerced Recommendations for Abortion Practices) to
reflect its true nature.
According to rhrealitycheck.org, AB 775 requires any clinics which
provide pregnancy-related services, including Crisis Pregnancy Centers, to “inform
patients that California has public programs that
provide immediate free or low-cost access to comprehensive family
planning services, prenatal care, and abortion, for eligible women.” 
In
other words, facilities that provide abortion want to require CPCs, by law, to
advertise cheap abortion for them (I’m surprised they aren’t requiring CPC
workers to do a jig and present this information in the form of a song)(oh
right, that’s the next bill).
Opponents point out that the bill’s requirements amount to forced
abortion referrals, which CPCs are protected from under the Hyde/WeldonConscience Protection Amendment.
A lawyer representing the bill’s opposition, Sheldon Hadley, says, “The authors
of AB 775 know the Hyde/Weldon Amendment prohibits abortion referrals and
discrimination or forced abortion referrals, and therefore were careful to
avoid using the word ‘referral’ in the bill. But a rose is still a rose under
any other name.” 
But I suppose it wouldn’t be beyond proponents to feign ignorance
when it comes to the definition of “refer” in order to avoid respecting the Weldon Amendment
protections. We can only hope ignorance isn’t a valid argument in court,
because this bill surely amounts to abortion referrals. Check it:

5)Requires licensed covered facilities to disseminate the following
notice in English and in minority languages pursuant to the federal Voting
Rights Act, that states the following:

“California has public programs that provide immediate free or low-cost
access to comprehensive family planning services (including all FDA-approved
methods of contraception), prenatal care, and abortion, for eligible
women.  To determine whether you qualify,
contact the county social services office at [insert the telephone number].

The patient would then call the given number, and social services would
recommend x, y, and z abortion centers in the area. But yeah, totally not a
referral.
A very similar abortion-referral bill is also on its way to being
approved in Illinois.
It passed the Senate by a 34-19 vote and is now in the General Assembly House. Funny
how 39 years ago, the same state’s Republican Congressman, Henry Hyde,
sponsored the Amendment that this very law is attempting to undermine. Oh how times (read: politicians) change.       

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