• This bill is about empowering women to make their own reproductive health decisions and access affordable care. That means respecting the dignity of women and recognizing that only she really knows what is best for her and her family.
• It doesn’t mean lying to women to stop them from considering all of their options. It does NOT mean making decisions for them.
• I find it extremely difficult to understand how people, who claim to care about women, find it so threatening to inform them about accessing affordable health care. Making sure women have the care they need to lead happy and healthy lives shouldn’t be controversial. We can all agree that women deserve to have all the information in front of them when they make some of the most important decisions they will ever face.
• Our investigation of California’s crisis pregnancy centers revealed disturbing patterns of lying to and manipulating women. Instead of honest conversation about all their options, our investigators faced a barrage of lies and medical misinformation designed to discourage them from accessing abortion and contraception. Which is ironic, because these same centers claim that women need to know all of their options.
• Your press packet includes four pamphlets we collected from CA CPCs in the course of our investigation. They speak for themselves.
AB 775 ensures that when women are given this kind of false and manipulative information at unlicensed facilities, they know they are not hearing it from a licensed medical professional.
• Opponents of this bill have twisted it beyond recognition. It doesn’t tell anyone what to say in their counseling. It doesn’t require anyone to refer patients to another abortion provider. It doesn’t encourage anyone to choose one option over another.
It simply ensures that any woman walking into a licensed clinic in California walks out knowing that money shouldn’t be a barrier to accessing the the reproductive health care that she feels is right for her.
• AB 775 has support from a strong coalition of more than 30 organizations with proven records of respecting women’s decisions and supporting them in accessing health care. The California State Assembly should pass this bill Friday to bolster California’s role as a leader in protecting and expanding reproductive freedom.
Remarks by the Rev Dr Rick Schlosser, Executive Director of California Church IMPACT, at AB 775 press conference on May 20, 2015:
The California Council of Churches IMPACT is a Sacramento-based public policy office representing 21 different denominations with more than 5,000 congregations with over 1.5 million members from the mainstream Protestant and Orthodox Christian communities throughout California.
IMPACT is a leading voice in representing the theological diversity in the mainstream and progressive communities of faith. In spite of what one may read in the media or hear from the strident voices of the religious right, there are far MORE people of faith in California who support women’s reproductive rights than oppose them.
California Church IMPACT and a very large percentage of our constituency support AB 775 wholeheartedly.
We support religious liberty and the right of individuals to practice their faith however they believe to be best. However, the arguments put forth by the religious right against this legislation are false and need to be put in perspective.
It is in the best interests of our state for clients of all facilities to know clearly whether or not said facility is licensed and whether or not licensed medical personnel are present.
In spite of claims by the opposition, nothing in this Reproductive FACT Act prevents so-called “crisis pregnancy centers” from doing what they choose to do in accordance with their own narrow religious beliefs. It simply prevents them from misrepresenting themselves as having any sanction and moral authority they do not have. I find the fact that they do not respect women enough to provide women with all their options offensive and morally reprehensible. No facility with any integrity would try to manipulate women into a decision by withholding valuable medical, psychological, and spiritual options and perspectives as these CPCs so often do.
We in the faith community who support women’s reproductive rights do not see how inaccurate, even dangerous, medical information advances religious liberty.
Let me be clear: this bill does not prohibit anyone’s religious freedom. It protects religious freedom. No faith tradition with any integrity would disrespect women by withholding any of their options.
Therefore, we urge your support of The Reproductive FACT Act, AB 775.