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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 being considered by the California state legislature during the 2023-2024 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 February 1, this bill is dead.*

  • AB 583 - would give grants to fund abortion doulas. *As of February 1, this bill is dead.*

  • AB 598 - would mandate that California’s sex-ed curriculum include information about where students can get abortions locally. 

  • AB 602 would encourage lawsuits against pregnancy care centers and clinics for supposedly “false or misleading” statements.

  • AB 710 would create a public information campaign to smear pro-life pregnancy centers. *As of February 1, this bill is dead.*

  • AB 793 - would hinder law enforcement attempting to collect digital evidence of illegal abortions. ​

 

  • 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 February 1, this bill is dead.*

  • SB 729 - would require insurers to cover in vitro fertilization for same sex couples and single people. 

  • SB 1196  - would expand California’s existing law that allows assisted suicide.

 

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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