The California Legislature began debating SB 245. This bill if enacted would eliminate out-of-pocket expenses such as co-pays and deductibles for abortions and related services, including counseling. The measure, approved by the Senate and headed to the Assembly, would apply to most private health plans regulated by the state. Even as most of America, spurred on by constant pressure from evangelicals, is trying to make it harder to get an abortion. This year 560 new abortion restrictions have been introduced in 47 of America’s red state legislatures and 82 of them have already been enacted. This is one of highest number of so-called pro-life restrictions adopted in a single year since the Roe vs. Wade ruling of 1973.

California State Sen. Lena Gonzalez from Long Beach, the author of California bill, SB 245 Says,

“It’s tough to know that your reproductive rights may be in question again after it’s already been decided for 40 years,” (so) “We’re taking a stance, not just to make abortions available but to make them free and equitable.”…

Of course, California’s Pro-life Conservatives say…That looking out for the “economically disadvantaged”… (can’t even say the word poor?) Its repulsive that the best we can offer them is a free abortion. California should simply make birth and maternity care more affordable instead… Which is not a bad sentiment, except that everyone knows those same “Somebody think of the children” Conservatives would fight tooth and claw against any California universal healthcare measure making that entire argument pointless.

Talking Point: On choice, equality, and even rape, as long as California remains part of the United States, the rights of California Women to control their own lives and bodies will always be just one supreme court decision or federal government vote from being taken away. California, being the most enlightened nation state in America, already offers broad protection for abortion requiring health insurance plans to cover abortions, and most enrollees in the state’s Medi-Cal program pay nothing out of pocket for the procedure.

So, SB 245 would just bring most health insurers in California in line with these practices. In contrast though, SB 245 can’t apply to millions of Californians whose health insurance plans are regulated by the federal government just as the US Supreme court is taking up a challenge to Roe vs Wade this fall where it’s overturning is likely… Preparing for this inevitability… Total abortion bans in Oklahoma and Arkansas with bans on abortion after six weeks in Texas, Idaho, South Carolina, and Oklahoma have already passed this year. Making California’s SB 245 a true if simple statement of independent dissent. Celebrate! Because for Californians this is already settled. The reproductive rights for Californians are essential human rights, and the protection of those rights are a California Value…

At least until the U.S. supreme court overturns Roe vs Wade. Then upholds Conservative voter suppression laws, Allowing the end of U.S. democracy. Which will ensure California’s progressive voices become silenced in a new white male, Evangelical, fascist America. Where a corporatized congress shouts “blue lives matter” as it roles coal over everything from climate change to income inequality. Passing laws literally over the dead bodies of Californians…Because you really think they don’t have federal anti-choice laws ready and waiting?

For the women of California and the men who love them I’ll say it again…California Independence or American submission…  it’s all about choice.

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