Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill authored by state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, that will protect women from harassment and intimidation as they are seeking services at reproductive health-care facilities.
Senate Bill 340 removes a sunset and thus makes permanent the Reproductive Rights Law Enforcement Act.
Because of this act, the attorney general is required to gather information related to anti-reproductive rights crimes and analyze the effectiveness of current laws. This is often the only information policymakers and others have in addressing anti-reproductive rights crimes.
Anti-reproductive rights crimes include targeting or intimidating someone because they are a client or a provider of reproductive health care.
“I am very pleased that Governor Brown has signed this bill into law,” said Jackson. “The Reproductive Rights Law Enforcement Act is critical to ensuring access to reproductive health services. Without it, Californians could face discrimination as they exercise their constitutionally protected reproductive rights.”
"No woman should feel afraid when coming in for an annual exam or birth control. That's why we supported SB 340. Planned Parenthood is dedicated to ensuring that our patients feel safe when accessing health services at our 115 health centers in California," said Kathy Kneer, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California. "SB 340 will help make sure patients can access and staff can provide reproductive health services without fear of harassment and violence."
The law will take effect on Jan. 1, 2014.
— Lisa Gardiner is the communications director for state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson.