Update: On October 7, Governor Newsom vetoed AB 576!
California Right to Life submitted the following letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee in opposition to AB 576, a bill that would expand Medi-Cal reimbursement for chemical abortions to include those committed by different means and at later gestational ages than the FDA has approved.
August 11, 2023
Senator Anthony J. Portantino, Chair
Senate Appropriations Committee
State Capitol, Room 412
Sacramento, CA 95814
Re: Letter in Opposition to Assembly Bill 576
Dear Chair and Members of the Senate Appropriations Committee,
On behalf of California Right to Life Educational Fund, I urge you to oppose AB 576, which would invite the State Department of Health Care Services to expand Medi-Cal reimbursement to include chemical abortions at all stages of pregnancy while disregarding legal requirements for the disposition of the bodies.
California Health and Safety Code section 7054 stipulates, “Except as authorized pursuant to the sections referred to in subdivision (b) [cremation or reduction], every person who deposits or disposes of any human remains in any place, except in a cemetery, is guilty of a misdemeanor.”
The same section continues later, “Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a recognizable dead human fetus of less than 20 weeks uterogestation not disposed of by interment shall be disposed of by incineration.”
Medi-Cal currently reimburses for the chemical abortion regimen approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for abortions up to ten weeks of pregnancy, or eight weeks gestation. In the earliest weeks of pregnancy, the human body expelled during a chemical abortion may be too small and mangled to be identified amidst the placenta and clots of blood, but, by the eleventh week of pregnancy, the rapidly growing child is over two inches long and is precisely formed enough to suck his tiny thumb. His dead body would most definitely be recognizable.
Chemical abortions are typically completed at home. AB 576 intentionally imposes on low-income mothers the financial burden and the legal responsibility of properly disposing of their children’s remains after delivery. Or are those who prescribe abortion drugs expected to recover the bodies for disposition? Or does the Legislature simply assume all parties will disregard the law? To all appearances, AB 576 encourages and facilitates the improper and illegal dumping of human remains.
Mary Rose Short
California Right to Life
 California Code, Health and Safety Code - HSC § 7054
 California Code, Health and Safety Code - HSC § 7054.3