Summer 2006
ACCESS: Making Choice A Reality
The Quarterly E-Newsletter of ACCESS

Dear Friend,

Happy Summer! We hope you enjoy this issue of our e-newsletter. If it doesn't look pretty and have lots of pictures, you may need to upgrade to an email provider that allows HTML. Or if you'd prefer, you can get the newsletter by regular mail instead! Just let us know. You can also change your email address and update your e-list subscription preferences by clicking here. Thanks for being part of ACCESS!

- Reproductive Rights News You Can Use
- Infamous South Dakota Cartoon
- Women in Politics: Are You Ready to Run?
- Remembering a Hero: Felicia Stewart
- Real Women, Real Choices... Life on the Hotline
- Columbia Liberalizes Abortion Laws
- SB 1471: Bringing Sex Education to Our Communities

And please consider making a donation to support our work! We rely on you to keep ACCESS going! Just visit and use your credit card to give online right now!

Reproductive Rights Updates
News You Can Use!
Guttmacher Institute Releases New Report on Abortion

From the 1980s to early 1990s, better access to contraceptives and safe abortions resulted in an overall decline of unwanted and unplanned pregnancies. Unfortunately, however, a recent study by the Guttmacher Institute, Abortion In Women's Lives, reveals that behind these positive numbers, there is a growing gap between higher-income and lower-income women, with lower-income women's unintended pregnancy rate increasing 29% between 1994 and 2001.

Part of the problem is that, rather than helping women get access to the information and services they need to prevent unplanned pregnancies, conservative policymakers are encouraging punitive measures such as waiting periods, funding restrictions and parental involvement laws, for birth control and emergency contraception as well as abortion. This report covers abortion before and after legalization, long-term safety and lingering disparities, and makes recommendations for policies and programs to close the growing gap and allow all women to decide if and when to get pregnant. For more information or to download or purchase a copy of the report, please visit

Military Women Face Increased Threat of Sexual Assault, But No Reproductive Rights

Anti-choice congressional leaders blocked votes on two amendments to the Defense Authorization Act that would have provided compassionate reproductive health services to the thousands of military women who are survivors of sexual violence. The amendments were 1) to have emergency contraception stocked and available on every military base, and 2) to offer federally funded abortion care to military women who are rape or incest survivors. Currently, military health insurance does not cover abortions for any reason, and servicewomen and female military dependents are even prohibited from using their own funds to pay for abortion care at overseas military hospitals.

This is the second consecutive year the House Rules Committee has denied these amendments the right to a vote by their fellow lawmakers, an alarming situation when you look at the number of women reporting sexual attacks in our military. Just last year, there were 2,374 sexual assault cases reported among servicewomen, a 40% increase since 2004. Federal funds (including military health insurance, postal workers' insurance, Medicare and Medicaid in most states) are not allowed to pay for abortion services under the Hyde Amendment, which is approved every year by a vote in Congress. This October marks the 30th year of life under Hyde, and ACCESS will be working as part of a campaign by the National Network of Abortion Funds to raise awareness of the devastating and unjust impact of this law on women's lives and health.

Spawn of Prop 73: Will Parental Notification Be Back This Fall?

It's true - November may bring yet another vote on the issue of mandated parental notification for minors seeking an abortion in California. On May 25, proponents of the ballot initiative officially turned in 912,662 signatures from all but twelve counties (with signatures from the heavily populated Sacramento and Contra Costa Counties still to be submitted). They need a total of 600,000 valid signatures to qualify for the ballot, and since the average signature validity rate for initiatives is 75%, it is highly likely that we will see the parental notification initiative on the ballot again this year.

The Campaign for Teen Safety web site is up and running at, so check frequently for updates. ACCESS is also ready to do our part to fight the initiative and educate people about the dangers of parental involvement laws. We'll keep you posted on how you can help.

New Law Requires Documentation of Citizenship for Medicaid

Beginning July 1, 2006, all Medicaid applicants and recipients will be required to provide proof of citizenship in the form of an official document, like a passport or birth certificate, in order to qualify for the health insurance program. In the past, Medicaid has relied on a sworn statement of citizenship from the individual, which was followed with a request for documentation if it appeared the applicant was not being truthful. This change in policy was signed into law in February as part of the President's Deficit Reduction Act.

The law does not change eligibility criteria for Medicaid (only citizens and certain qualified legal immigrants are eligible for most services anyway), but it does show how anti-immigrant sentiment is being used to justify radical policy decisions. Supposedly intended to prevent undocumented immigrants from fraudulently enrolling in Medicaid, the new requirement will more likely serve to disqualify eligible citizens who are unable to produce the appropriate documents. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that as many as 1.7 million U.S. citizens who are currently receiving Medicaid will be disqualified within the next six months. People at risk of losing their current health care or being denied new coverage include those from rural areas and older African Americans, both groups with a high likelihood of undocumented at-home births, as well as teens, people displaced by Hurricane Katrina, and low-income people, who are unlikely to have access to the necessary paperwork to prove citizenship.

As a federal law, this requirement will apply to California, but it is not yet clear how many of our Medicaid programs will be affected. Medi-Cal pays for abortion with state-only funds, so in theory the requirements should not apply to women applying for abortion coverage. However, the law will apply to prenatal coverage and full-scope Medi-Cal, and probably to Family PACT coverage for pap smears, contraceptives and other preventative reproductive health services. ACCESS is monitoring the situation and will let you know about opportunities to protest the law and to help educate people about how they can still get Medi-Cal in a timely manner.

Support for Access to Safe, Legal Abortion: Going, Going, Gone?

A recent poll of 1,106 adults indicates that U.S. support for Roe v. Wade has reached its lowest level in decades. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal last month, the Harris Institute found that support for Roe has dropped 4% since last year, and 8 percentage points over the last eight years, from 57% to just 49% today. 47% of those surveyed were opposed to Roe, with the other 4% presumably undecided.

Support for restrictions on access to abortion also appear to be strong, since 40% of those polled favor laws that would make it more difficult for a woman to get an abortion, while another 40% say no change should be made to existing abortion laws, and 15% favor laws that would make it easier to get an abortion. Additionally, 44% of those questioned said they would support legislation in their state similar to that recently introduced in South Dakota, which bans abortion in any situation other than that in which the pregnant woman's life is threatened. Interestingly, despite waning support for legal abortion, the poll also found that most people do not think Roe v. Wade will be overturned by the current Supreme Court any time in the near future. Looks like weve got our work cut out for us!

Infamous South Dakota Cartoon
by Stephanie McMillan
McMillan's cartoon brought a lot of unwanted attention to South Dakota Senator Bill Napoli, who has since changed his home phone number. You can read interviews with the artist, or order a t-shirt or framed print of the cartoon, at her web site by clicking here.

Women In Politics
Are You Ready to Run?
As you know, 2006 is an election year, and a significant one with regard to women in politics. Our elected officials make decisions that affect our lives in many ways, and it is important that women are represented fairly among the people creating public policy. Having women serve in office is paramount to our struggles for equality and reproductive rights. Unfortunately, however, the U.S. lags far behind in equitable gender representation. Even in California, where we have nearly double the national percentage of women in legislative office, we are facing a critical year of elections that could result in a significant loss of female leadership.

A record 84 women currently serve in the United States Congress, including 70 in the House and 14 in the Senate. This may be a record number, but out of a total 545 seats, the percent of women in Congress is just 15.7%. Compare this to the latest census data from 2004, which shows that women make up 50.8% of the total population. So how does our gender representation compare to other countries? According to the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the U.S. ranks about 68th in terms of women holding office in the legislature - just above Israel, just below Ecuador.

Given these statistics, it may be time to learn from other governments and look into more radical strategies such as gender quotas to improve equitable participation and correct historical under-representation of women. According to a study conducted at Stockholm University, Gender Quotas - a key to equality, more than 30 countries, including Sweden, South Africa, France, Uganda, Argentina and Bosnia and Herzegovina, have implemented a gender quota for their government. Each country has their own requirements for minimum female representation, ranging from 5% for Nepal, 40% in Costa Rica and South Africa, to 50% in Sweden and France. For more info on quotas, including efforts made in Afghanistan, Iraq and Rwanda to ensure representation of women in their governments, click here.

Representation of women in the California legislature is better, with 30% of the seats in the State Senate and 31% in the State Assembly currently held by women. However, that may change with the coming elections, due in large part to term limits, which will force nearly half of our current women leaders out of office this year. And unfortunately, though several of the fabulous women who are being termed out are running for statewide office, they are in many cases running against each other, guaranteeing a loss of at least some expertise and leadership.

The California Elected Women's Association for Education and Research (CEWAER) has put together a snapshot of candidates running for state office and what we might be able to expect from the election this year. Their analysis does not predict an increase in the percentages of women in California offices. At best, the number of seats held by women will remain the same, with a very real possibility that we will be faced with a decline in female leadership after the election in November.

Right now there are 12 women serving in the State Senate. Only four of these women are not up for re-election this year. Two Senators are running for re-election, and six are being termed out. Two of the term-limited Senators are running for Lt Governor and two are running for Secretary of State. (NOTE: As of the June primary, only one of these women is still in the running.) Another is running for Assembly and one is retiring. CEWAER predicts that the best-case scenario for the State Senate would be re-election of the 2 female incumbents, and for women to win 6 of the other 8 seats, keeping the number of women in the Senate the same. The worst case scenario would be to have the 2 incumbents remain in office, but lose 7 of the 8 open seats, resulting in only 7 women in the State Senate, or 17.5%. There is no chance that women will increase their power in the Senate this year, no matter the outcome of the election.

On the Assembly side, there are 25 women serving. Fourteen of these Assemblymembers are up for re-election and 11 are leaving due to term-limits. Of the women leaving the Assembly, four are running for State Senate, two are running for their local Board of Supervisors and one is running for the Board of Equalization. Four are retiring from public office all together. The best-case scenario for the Assembly would be for all 19 women favored to win their primary to also win the general election in November, and for women to win all 10 of the toss up seats. This would mean a net gain of four seats held by women in the Assembly, an increase to 36%. The worst-case scenario would be for women to win only half of the toss up seats and 16 of the others, resulting in a loss of four women.

As CEWAER says, it's hard for women to take the lead if they don't get into the race. Many factors make it difficult for women to run for and stay in office, including the high cost of campaigning, term limits, gender discrimination and the need to juggle many complex roles in today's society. But run and lead we must! Women bring a unique voice to politics and policy-making, and increasing our representation is critical to achieving progress on social justice issues such as healthcare, childcare, education, living wages and pay equity.

There are numerous groups working to recruit, train and support women who want to run for public office, including CEWAER, EMERGE, The White House Project and EMILY'S List, to name just a few. And if you aren't sure about running for office but want to learn more about how to influence the policy process, many groups provide training and leadership development. The California Black Women's Health Project and Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE) each offer annual advocacy training programs, and the Women's Policy Institute is a year- long training for leaders in community organizations. To learn more, visit the web sites listed below!

Remembering A Hero
The Legacy of Felicia Stewart
Felicia Stewart, MD, an extraordinary and accomplished advocate for reproductive health, died April 13 of cancer at the age of 63. A reproductive health specialist, abortion provider, and one of the most influential advocates for the development and distribution of emergency contraception, Dr. Stewart dedicated much of her career to designing research and policies that make safe, effective contraception and abortion accessible to women who need it.

Felicia was most recently the co-director of the UCSF Center for Reproductive Health Research and Policy and Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH). Her previous work includes 20 years of private practice in Sacramento, as well as being a staff physician at Planned Parenthood, director of medical research at the Sutter Medical Foundation, deputy assistant secretary for population affairs at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and director of reproductive health programs at the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. She served on the board of the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals and the National Abortion Federation, among others, and was a U.S. delegate to the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo in 1994. Felicia authored Understanding Your Body: Everywoman's Guide to a Lifetime of Health, (1987) and My Body, My Health: The Concerned Woman's Guide to Gynecology and Health (1979). She was also co-author of Contraceptive Technology, a major reference source in the field of family planning that has been published in 18 editions, and published nearly 100 scientific journal articles.

We are deeply grateful to Felicia for giving us the opportunity to build upon and benefit from her incredible work. The Association of Reproductive Health Professionals has set up a web page in Felicia's honor, where you can read and post personal reflections and memories.

Real Women, Real Choices
Life on the ACCESS Hotline
All names and other identifying information have been changed to protect our callers' confidentiality.

Miranda asked for abortion information and wanted to know if there is any kind of program she can apply for to pay for the procedure. I told her about Medi-Cal and how to apply for it. She is 19 and lives with her parents but they don't know about the pregnancy. When I asked her why they dont know she said, "they will be disappointed and I've always been told not to get pregnant." I asked if they ever told her how to prevent pregnancy or talked to her about sex and her answer was no. We talked a lot about her feelings because she thinks is so stupid to get pregnant. At the end of our conversation she sounded better and understood that it is hard to take care of herself (use birth control, have protected sex) when she doesn't have the information or tools she needs to do it. I suggested she call back later to talk about birth control if she wants. She appreciated it.

Silvia is in Berkeley and needs prenatal care. She thinks she is around 16 weeks pregnant, but according to her last period she is more like 20 weeks. She doesn't have Medi-Cal yet so I explained that with Presumptive Eligibility she could apply right at the clinic. She wanted to deliver at Alta Bates so I gave her referrals to clinics that deliver there. I also gave her the info for the Department of Social Services and told her what she would need to bring along if she applies there.

Sharon wanted to find a place that would tell her if her 'baby is ok'. I had to ask a few questions to really determine what she was calling about. She told me she is 20 weeks pregnant and has an appointment next week to get an abortion. But now she is having second thoughts and wants to find out if her previous drug use would affect the baby. She is considering keeping it if a doctor could assure her that the baby is healthy. She thought she could take a specific test to find out. She was hesitant to give me a lot of info even though I assured her that the call was completely confidential and I had no idea who she was. I told her that I only wanted to help her get the info she needed. She then told me she had given birth to several children already and the state had taken them away. She said if she knew this baby would be born healthy and drug free she would continue the pregnancy but she is scared of losing another child. I gave her the California Teratogen hotline, which offers confidential information on drugs and other things that could harm a fetus. I encouraged her to call and ask lots of questions, but I also let her know that there is probably no way to be sure if the baby is healthy or not. I also made sure she understood that she would not be able to get an abortion after 23 weeks.

Cristina wanted referrals for an abortion. She had a previous miscarriage at 13 weeks and had a D&C to take care of it. The experience was pretty difficult so a result, she was mostly interested in medical abortion. I explained to her how medical abortion works and also told her that surgical abortions at 7 weeks are not done using a D&C but rather by vacuum aspiration. She was glad to hear that, and is now considering which method would be best for her. She requested referrals to private doctors so I gave her some in her area.

Alison works at a community health center and has a 16-year-old client in need of a first trimester abortion. The girl had an abortion recently and is having problems getting Medi-Cal again. The social worker said that Medi-Cal only covers a certain number of abortions in a certain amount of time. I wasn't sure; I hadn't heard that before. I told her she should ask to talk to a manager and see what options they have. If they really can't get Medi-Cal in time then the girl and her boyfriend are able to pay out of pocket so Alison also wanted low-cost referrals. I told her either way that it was important to get the abortion soon because the cost would go up after twelve weeks. I also asked her to give the girl our number if she wanted to talk or ask any questions.

Tanya had insurance through work but it was too expensive so she cancelled it around three months ago. Now she's pregnant (had a positive home test) and she's planning to get Medi-Cal but her friend said she needed a doctor's note, so she called to ask about free pregnancy tests. I told her the rules have changed and now a home test is enough. I also told her what else she needed to take to her Medi-Cal appointment. She also asked about WIC so I gave her the local number. I asked her if she needed provider referrals but she is going to stay with her current doctor because she knows they take Medi-Cal and do prenatal care and she's been going there for a while.

Whitney was looking for abortion referrals for her coworker's teenage daughter. The daughter had an ultrasound yesterday, which determined that she is about 9 weeks pregnant. They live in Lassen County so I gave her referrals in Redding and Chico. The mother plans to go with her, and the friend has relatives in Redding that they can stay with. She appreciated the help.

Cassandra was calling about her 16-year old foster daughter. They just found out that the girl is very pregnant (over 25 weeks). She also takes several medications for seizures and mental health issues that are likely to harm the fetus. Apparently the girl had made several appointments for an abortion but never showed up. The doctor had never said anything before because of confidentiality. Cassandra said they already have referrals and are willing to pay out of pocket, thinking the range was $500-600, but I told her it would be in the thousands and referred her to some abortion funds. Cassandra said she felt betrayed because they have had custody of the girl for thirteen years and invested a lot of time in her, and she still kept all this a secret from them. If they can't work the abortion out she says they are going to contact a social worker to place the girl somewhere else. (I couldn't help thinking, maybe this is why she was afraid to tell you she was pregnant in the first place!) I just kept encouraging Cassandra to give our number to the girl so she could call us herself.

Columbia Liberalizes Abortion Laws
Former ACCESS Intern Celebrates!
While lawmakers in the United States continue to make abortion harder and harder to get, around the world many countries are examining their abortion laws and ruling in favor of more liberal policies. This May, the Supreme Court of Colombia legalized abortion in cases of rape, endangerment to the woman's life, and conditions that would result in fetal death. At the time of the ruling, Colombia had one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the world, banning the procedure under all circumstances. El Salvador and Chile are now the only countries in Latin America that ban abortion without exception. El Salvador's abortion policies were featured in the April 9th issue of the New York Times Magazine, profiling a country with not only the will but the means to enforce their draconian law - sending providers, women and anyone who helps them get an abortion to prison, sometimes for as long as 30 years.

Of course, research has shown that banning abortion does not stop women from seeking abortions; it simply leads to women having unsafe procedures that result in a much higher rate of complications and death. Statistics show that nearly 1 in 4 pregnancies in Columbia currently end in abortion, and that 30% of the women having abortions suffer complications due to unsafe conditions. In contrast, in countries like the U.S. where abortion is both legal and safe, women tend to seek abortions earlier in pregnancy, are attended by skilled medical professionals, and rarely suffer complications.

Nearly ten years ago, ACCESS was fortunate to have our own wonderful office and practical support volunteer, Camila Umana, from Columbia. While pursuing her undergraduate studies in the Bay Area, Camila volunteered in organizations that worked with sexual and reproductive health and rights, focusing her attention on abortion and HIV/AIDS, two areas of special interest to her. She became an ACCESS volunteer in 1996, volunteering here for about two years, mostly driving Spanish speaking women to and from their abortion appointments. When she returned to her home in Bogota, Colombia, Camila wanted to continue working on the same issues (even though her BA was in Comparative Literature), which she was able to do when she started working at Fundacion Orientame as the deputy to the executive director, a job she has now had for five years.

After the ruling, Camila wrote the following for ACCESS: On the night of May 10, 2006, the Constitutional Court of Colombia made an historic ruling when it liberalized the laws on abortion, allowing termination of pregnancy to happen in three cases: rape, fetal abnormalities incompatible with life, and risk to the life of the woman. This ruling takes Colombia out of the minority of countries where abortion was totally banned and puts it where many others are. It marks from now on a difference in the lives of all Colombian women, who until recently had very few options to access a safe abortion, and many had to undergo the procedures alone and in fear.

This historic ruling calls for great happiness, but we also know it is only the door of a new path that emerges, where new challenges as well as new possibilities lie ahead. We celebrate not only the courageous lawyer who presented the lawsuit, but also all the women and men who have worked 'behind the scenes' over the last decades out of their own personal conviction to the right to choose, as well as all the international supporters for this cause. It is a time for new beginnings, for new hopes, and for new energies!

To read more about abortion laws around the world and the options for the future, we recommend the April 9th New York Times Magazine article "Pro- Life Nation" and the 1999 report by the Guttmacher Institute, Sharing Responsibility: Women, Society & Abortion Worldwide. Both are available online or by emailing ACCESS at

Bringing Sex Education to Our Communities
SB 1471, The Repro Warriors & the Women's Policy Institute
After four action-packed retreats in Sacramento, about a million conference calls, and lots of strategic discussion with her fabulous team members, ACCESS Executive Director Parker Dockray has graduated from the Women's Policy Institute!! But although the official WPI experience is over, the real work for Parker and her team of Repro Warriors is just beginning.

The Repro Warriors include Parker, Lacy Serros from Latino Issues Forum, Nicole Monastersky from Pharmacy Access Partnership, and Rocio Cordoba and Marisol Franco from California Latinas for Reproductive Justice. Together with other experts and lobbyists from Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California and the ACLU of Northern California, the Repro Warriors are working to promote access to quality sexual and reproductive health information by passing SB 1471, The California Community Sexual Health Education Act, authored by Senator Sheila Kuehl.

As an organization that works with thousands of women each year, ACCESS understands the real life impact that lack of comprehensive, accurate information has on reproductive and sexual health. Many of the women who call ACCESS have a very limited understanding of their own bodies, how to safely prevent pregnancy or STD infection, or what health services and programs are available to them. Especially in rural areas, these women have too often been misinformed or misled by biased and inaccurate programs in their communities, putting them at unnecessary risk and delaying their access to care. While we unfortunately cannot do much to stop privately funded groups from spreading misinformation, we can make sure that none of our state dollars go to programs that are inaccurate, biased or impose one set of religious beliefs on all participants.

Thats why ACCESS is working to support SB 1471. If we want to reduce existing reproductive health disparities and promote access to information and services for all people in California, then state resources should only be used to support programs that provide medically accurate, current and unbiased information, in our communities as well as in our public schools. It's just common sense.

What Does This Bill Do?

SB 1471 expands upon SB 71 (also authored by Senator Kuehl), the important reform legislation that took effect in 2004, requiring that sexual health and HIV/AIDS prevention education taught in California public schools be medically accurate, bias-free, and age appropriate. SB 1471 applies the standards already required in our schools to publicly funded sexual and reproductive health programs in California communities. SB 1471 requires any state-funded or state-administered program that addresses adolescent or unintended pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV, to comply with the following conditions:
  • All information must be medically accurate, current and objective
  • Instructors must understand and use current scientific data on sexual health
  • The program must be age appropriate and culturally and linguistically relevant for its targeted populations
  • The program may not teach or promote religious doctrine
  • The program may not reflect or promote bias against any person on the basis of disability, gender, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation
Why Is SB 1471 Necessary?

Although California is a national leader in reproductive health and has been successful in reducing overall rates of unintended pregnancy, not all residents have benefited equally. Many communities of color, rural communities and low-income communities lack access to timely health services and information and continue to experience disproportionately high rates of teen pregnancies and STDs. State-funded sexual health programs are concentrated in these communities with the greatest need. Ensuring that the programs provide comprehensive, medically accurate, and unbiased education is particularly vital in the underserved communities and regions of the state.

However, recent analysis has found that scarce state dollars for teen pregnancy prevention are funding programs and activities that do not meet the basic, common sense guidelines that schools must follow. Currently, no statutory standards exist for programs outside of public schools. SB 1471 will provide much needed guidance to state agencies that fund or administer community-based programs or public education campaigns, in order to ensure that California has a consistent and effective approach for preventing unintended pregnancies and STDs.

Is There Support For Comprehensive Sex Education?

Yes. Californians have expressed overwhelming support for comprehensive sexuality education programs. According to a survey released this year, 78% of California adults believe the state's public schools should provide comprehensive sex education that includes information on both abstinence and contraception. (Public Policy Institute of California, Special Survey on Population.) This belief is strong across racial, ethnic and religious groups, and throughout all regions of the state.

Californians support comprehensive programs because they recognize that such programs are effective in reducing unintended pregnancies, as well as STDs, while abstinence-only programs have never been proven to be effective. As a result, most Californians agree that comprehensive sexuality education is a very important part of the school curriculum (75%) and favor government funding for programs that provide teens with birth control options (76%).

Who Supports SB 1471?

This bill is sponsored by Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California and the American Civil Liberties Union. SB 1471 is also supported by many organizations, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, District IX; California Family Health Council; California Medical Association; ACCESS/ Women's Health Rights Coalition; Latino Issues Forum; California Latinas for Reproductive Justice; Pharmacy Access Partnership; American Association of University Women CA; California Commission on the Status of Women; Center for Research on Adolescent Health and Development; California School Nurses Organization; Public Health Institute; NARAL Pro- Choice California; National Association of Social Workers, California Chapter; Asian Communities for Reproductive Justice; Health Initiatives for Youth; and Southern California HIV Advocacy Coalition.

What Can I Do to Make Sure That SB 1471 Becomes the Law?

Good question! SB 1471 has passed out of the State Senate and will soon be heard in Assembly Committees before going to the full Assembly for a floor vote. If you are involved with a community group or organization that wants to support SB 1471, you can write a letter of support. Sample letters and fact sheets are available from ACCESS. When the bill moves to the floor, you can contact your Assemblymembers and let them know you support SB 1471 and want them to vote for it. With legislative advocacy, timing is everything! Although we know that bills will be heard in the Assembly sometime in August, with committee hearings in June or July, it is hard to predict exactly when things will need to happen. To make sure you have all the latest updates and information about who to contact, make sure you are signed up for ACCESS email action alerts by following the link below!
phone: 510-923-0739

ACCESS is dedicated to making reproductive choice a reality. Our programs promote real reproductive options and access to quality health care for all women. No other California organization provides the same range of support to women who are considering or seeking an abortion.

Board of Directors
Nora Dye, Zoe Harte, Yojani Hernandez, Reichi Lee, Deborah McSmith, Jerrie Meadows, Christine Powell, Shailushi Baxi Ritchie, Ellen Schwerin

Alma Avila-Pilchman, J. Parker Dockray

Sepi Aghdaee, Miriam Boxerman, Katherine Johnston, Ella Milliken-Detro, Janet O'Connor, Sophia Song