Speed Reads

my body, my choice

California lawmakers prepare legislation to end out-of-pocket abortion costs

California lawmakers are preparing themselves for a nationwide hit to abortion rights by teeing up "countermeasures to expand access for those who live both in and out of the state, focusing first on resurrecting a bill that would eliminate costly copays for services," writes the Los Angeles Times.

In the session beginning in January, legislators are hoping to move forward S.B. 245, "which would put an end to out-of-pocket costs paid by those seeking abortions that on average range from $300 for a medication abortion to nearly $900 for a procedural abortion," writes the Times.

The legislation was introduced then stalled earlier this year, but supporters believe its revival next month will make for a quick ticket to Gov. Gavin Newsom's (D) desk. The push to pass the legislation arrives on the heels of multiple losses for abortion rights advocates nationwide, but at least one win — on Thursday, the Food and Drug Administration lifted certain restrictions on the home delivery and telehealth prescription of abortion pills authorized for up to 10 weeks of pregnancy.

"Given what we have seen unfold in the last three months, I think there is a new urgency for this bill," state Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins (D) told the Los Angeles Times. "I am optimistic it will get a good hearing in the Assembly and hit the governor's desk."

Renewed interest in the bill also comes after Newsom and other legislative leaders in September asked the so-called California Future of Abortion Council to prepare a plan to make California an abortion sanctuary; the council earlier this month recommended 45 changes to improve access for residents and outsiders, "including exhorting lawmakers to prioritize SB 245 and get it past the finish line." Read more at the Los Angeles Times.