California lawmakers prepare to protect abortion access, eliminate copays

Local news
People rally in support of abortion rights at the state Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., May 21, 2019. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

People rally in support of abortion rights at the state Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., May 21, 2019. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

Ignited by threats to abortion rights across the country, California lawmakers are preparing countermeasures to expand access for those who live both in and out of the state, focusing first on resurrecting a bill that would eliminate costly copays for services.

The added urgency for abortion access legislation comes as the U.S. Supreme Court considers overturning Roe vs. Wade, the landmark decision that barred states from banning abortions nearly 50 years ago. Last week, the Supreme Court declined to block a Texas law that banned terminating pregnancies after six weeks.

Abortion rights advocates counted one win Thursday when the federal government announced it would allow patients to receive abortion pills prescribed for up to 10 weeks of pregnancy by mail, although some states will continue to have their own restrictions on mailing the medication.

In the upcoming session that begins in January, California legislators hope to push forward Senate Bill 245 by Sen. Lena Gonzalez (D-Long Beach), which would put an end to out-of-pocket costs paid by those seeking abortions that on average range from $300 for a medication abortion to nearly $900 for a procedural abortion, according to the California Health Benefits Review Program.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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