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Contact elected officials

A state law may be passed by either a direct vote of the people or by the California Legislature, which is composed of the Assembly and state Senate.

 

California is divided into 40 state Senate districts and 80 state Assembly districts and each district has an elected representative. To find out who your state Assembly and state Senate representatives are (and this may change after an election), visit the legislature’s Find Your Rep page. (Then save their info in your contacts so you can easily call them!)

 

You have the power to vote for your representatives or their opponents every election, so your state senator and assemblyman will consider your opinion. Let your representatives know if you have strong feelings about a bill. 

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It’s also important to track your city council, school board, and county board of supervisors. They have the power to allow new abortion facilities to open in your neighborhoods and allow pro-abortion representatives into the schools. You can find contact information for these elected officials on your city, school district, and county websites.

 

You can visit your representatives’ offices, write them letters, call them, or email them. The representatives recognize how much effort you put into contacting them, so an in-person visit is worth the most, while an email is worth the least - but it is worth more than no contact at all. 

 

If you call a state representative about a bill, the phone will be answered by a staff person and you need only say, “Hello, I’m calling to ask the Senator [or Assemblyman] to vote no on [bill number].” The staff person may ask a few questions and will then thank you for your call. That’s it, but your position will be noted and tallied. 

 

Members of the state Assembly and state Senate introduce bills that they would like to make laws. If an Assemblyman introduces a bill, it must be voted on and passed by various Assembly committees before the whole Assembly votes on it. If it is passed, the bill is then passed over to the state Senate, where it again must be voted on and passed by various committees before being voted on by the whole Senate. If it passes the Senate, then it becomes law, unless the governor vetoes it. 

 

If a bill is introduced in the Senate, it starts with the Senate committees and the Senate floor vote before being passed to the Assembly committees and Assembly floor vote.

Speaker

Some of the pro-abortion bills introduced by the legislature during the 2023 legislative session:

(The letters “AB” or “SB” at the beginning of a bill’s name refer to whether it started in the assembly or senate: assembly bill or senate bill.)

 

  • AB 315 -  would allow lawsuits against pregnancy care centers and clinics for supposedly “false or misleading” statements. *As of May 18, this bill is dead for the year*

  • AB 352 would prohibit the release of data related to the commission of an abortion to other states’ law enforcement.

 

  • AB 571 - would prohibit malpractice insurers from refusing to cover abortionists or charging more for plans that cover liability for damages arising from abortions.

 

  • AB 576 - would require Medi-Cal to reimburse for chemical abortions at gestational ages beyond the FDA’s approved 10 weeks and to reimburse for chemical abortion regimens not approved by the FDA.

  • AB 583 - would give grants to fund abortion doulas. *As of May 18, this bill is dead for the year*

  • AB 598 - would mandate that California’s sex-ed curriculum include information about where students can get abortions locally. *As of July 15, this bill is dead for the year*

  • AB 602 would encourage lawsuits against pregnancy care centers and clinics for supposedly “false or misleading” statements. *As of September 5, this bill is dead for the year*

  • AB 710 would create a public information campaign to smear pro-life pregnancy centers. *As of May 18, this bill is dead for the year*

  • AB 793 - would hinder law enforcement attempting to collect digital evidence of illegal abortions. *As of September 5, this bill is dead for the year*

 

  • AB 1194 - would extend existing privacy protections to always include internet searches related to having an abortion.

 

  • AB 1432 - would require that every health insurance policy for a California resident cover abortion.

  • AB 1707 - would prohibit the Department of Consumer Affairs from considering licensees’ history of convictions of illegal abortions in other states.

  • AB 1720 would limit where ultrasounds can be performed, in order to hinder pregnancy centers.

 

  • SB 36 - would prohibit the apprehension of fugitives in California who have violated other states’ abortion laws and prohibit witnesses of illegal abortions in other states from being compelled to testify*As of May 18, this bill is dead for the year*

  • SB 345 - would prohibit the medical board from considering a license applicant’s history of performing illegal abortions, would protect from legal prosecution those who assist remotely in illegal abortions in other states, and would replace the term “unborn child” in California laws with “fetus,” and would repeal California’s unenforced law that a parent of a minor must be notified before her abortion.

 

  • SB 385 - would allow physician assistants to perform surgical abortions without supervision. *As of August 24, this bill passed out of the legislature and is awaiting the governor's signature*

  • SB 487 - would shield abortionists from enforcement of civil judgments after violating other states’ laws restricting abortions and would prohibit insurers from considering a client’s civil judgments due to violation of other states’ laws restricting abortions.

  • SB 729 - would require insurers to cover in vitro fertilization for same sex couples and single people. *As of September 6, this bill is dead for the year*

 

If you would like to see the status of a bill, visit the site for California legislation information
 

Some committees allow you to submit your comments by fax, email, or regular mail, or even to teleconference into the hearing. Visit the California State Assembly or California State Senate website, go to the committees tab to find the committee that is holding the hearing, and then follow that committee’s instructions to comment before or during the hearing. (As of March 2023, the State Senate had a “teleconferencing how-to” button on its homepage to streamline the call-in process.) Some committee hearings only accommodate in-person comments on the day of the hearing. You may visit the capitol in Sacramento and attend the hearing in person.

If you would like to submit a letter of opposition or support for a bill before a committee hearing, visit the California Legislature Position Letter Portal.

 

You can read more about how a bill becomes law at the state Senate’s Legislative Process webpage.

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