MAI FLEMING , FAMILY PHYSICIAN
Mrs. K was a refugee who recently arrived in the U.S. to reunite with her husband and children. They arrived safely a few weeks ahead of her. On her initial refugee health exam, Mrs. K discovered she was six weeks pregnant. She had just arrived after escaping persecution in southeast Asia and faced the tremendous task of settling herself and her family in a new home. It was impossible for her to contemplate bringing another child into her family at the time. When Mrs. K came into the primary care clinic where I work seeking a medication abortion, I was happy to help her through the process.
In California, where my primary practice is located, any pregnancy-related care, including abortion care, is covered by Medicaid. Any person who is eligible for Medicaid and seeking an abortion for any reason can obtain the health care services they need without delay. That means access to an abortion as soon as someone decides, rather than having to delay for weeks to scrape together funds to pay out of pocket.
By RACHEL BLUTH, KAISER HEALTH NEWS
JUNE 7, 2021
SACRAMENTO — Even as most states are trying to make it harder to get an abortion, California could make it free for more people.
State lawmakers are debating a bill to eliminate out-of-pocket expenses such as co-pays and payments toward 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.
I deliver my patients' babies when needed, and perform their abortions when needed. Thankfully, my state treats all health care like health care.
Dr. Katherine Brown, Opinion contributor
Mar 7, 2021
I walk into the room and greet my patient with a smile. Six months earlier, I delivered her first baby by cesarean section after a long labor.
“How are you?” I ask. She assures me that she is doing fine, her daughter is thriving. She quickly takes out her phone and flips through a few recent photos. She smiles at me and tells me that she is just not ready for another baby. My patient is pregnant again and has made the decision to have an abortion. Just as I did when I delivered her daughter, I strive to hold a space of dignity and respect. I hold space for her and her emotions. I recognize that for her, she is making a difficult decision, but is doing so out of love and compassion.
Feb 3, 2021
Can a state require that all health plans offered to its residents cover elective abortions? The federal government thinks not, and the state of California is poised to lose at least $200 million in Medicaid dollars because it insists that health plans in its state cover abortion services.
In early 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under the Trump Administration issued a notice to California that the state’s abortion coverage mandate violated federal law. According to a December press release from the HHS Office for Civil Rights, the federal government may enforce its decision by withholding $200 million in federal Medicaid funds each quarter until the state comes into compliance.
By ALEX WIGGLESWORTH, STAFF WRITER
DEC. 16, 2020
Adora Perez was two years into an 11-year prison sentence when she got a phone call. From inside the women’s state prison in Chowchilla, Calif., Perez listened as attorney Mary McNamara introduced herself, saying she had been looking into Perez’s case — and found it deeply flawed.
I Tried to Get an Abortion in a Blue State During the Pandemic. It Was Complicated.
The doctor told me to make a decision—they weren’t sure if they would even be able to offer abortions in the coming days. What if it became an elective procedure because of the virus?
April 13, 2020
Anonymous as told to Becca Andrews
A few weeks ago, a friend reached out to me because she had discovered she was pregnant and she was not sure if she could afford—physically, emotionally, or financially—to have another child. As we spoke that afternoon, COVID-19 was beginning to spread and she was pretty sure she wanted an abortion. Fortunately, that seemed like a fairly straightforward task; we live in California, which is known as a haven state for abortion access. But what unfolded after our first conversation, the barriers presented by health insurance, work, misinformation, and, yes, the coronavirus, show that even in such a place, barriers to care exist. While, of course, it’s still harder to get an abortion in a state like Texas, which is using the pandemic as an opportunity to ban most abortion care, it’s still important to remember that the issue of access goes beyond draconian laws and the number of clinics in any given state. This is her story, in her own words, lightly edited for length and clarity.
Trump administration threatens funds to California over requirement that health plans cover abortion
California officials accuse officials of political grandstanding, say they’ll defend law.
William Wan and Yasmeen Abutaleb
Jan. 24, 2020
The Trump administration on Friday threatened to withhold federal funding from California over its requirement that private insurers cover abortions — a move California officials immediately denounced as a “cheap political” shot on the day the president was addressing the annual March for Life rally.
Top Trump health officials said California had 30 days to stop the alleged violation but did not specify what funds it would withhold or on what timeline it would act. They said their announcement serves as warning to other states with similar requirements but declined to identify which, if any, of those states might be targeted.
Jury Finds Abortion Foes Harmed Planned Parenthood, Awards $870K
November 15, 2019
SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – A federal jury found an anti-abortion cohort led by David Daleiden caused substantial harm to Planned Parenthood by infiltrating abortion industry conferences to secretly tape abortion doctors and staff – and awarded punitive damages of $870,000.
David Daleiden, an anti-abortion activist charged with invasion of privacy for filming attendees at National Abortion Federation conferences in California.
Daleiden, who heads the Center for Medical Progress, and his co-defendant Sandra Merritt, posed as human tissue procurers for a fake company called BioMax as part of a hidden-camera investigation into the organization.
Planned Parenthood awarded $2M in lawsuit against hidden camera activists
By Jessie Hellmann
A federal jury in San Francisco found that the anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress and its president, David Daleiden, broke multiple state and federal laws when they secretly recorded and released videos of Planned Parenthood employees.
The jury awarded Planned Parenthood $2 million in damages, finding that Daleiden and his organization engaged in fraud, trespassing and illegal secret recording.
California Just Became the First State to Require Public Colleges to Provide Abortions
Medication abortion must be available on campus starting in January 2023.
by Marie Solis
Oct 11 2019
California became the first state in the country to require its public universities to provide medication abortion on campus after Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the “College Student Right to Access Act,” or Senate Bill 24, into law on Friday. The University of California and California State University systems don’t currently offer abortion on campus.
The 34 universities have until January 2023 to comply with the new legislation, time that will be used to assess each campus health center’s ability to provide medication abortion, a first-trimester procedure that involves administering two pills to induce what is effectively a miscarriage.