by Jonah McKeown
Sacramento, California, Sep 27, 2021 / 3:25 PM
California Governor Gavin Newsom signed two privacy bills surrounding abortion on Sept. 22, and a policy expert told CNA the laws underscore the importance of parent communication. child on difficult subjects such as abortion.
Kathleen Domingo, executive director of the California Catholic Conference, told CNA that the new laws, while “absurd” and harmful, are just the latest in a series of performative actions in favor of abortion taken by California lawmakers over a period of decades.
“The reality is, it’s not really new, and I think it’s important for people to know that… it’s been California’s program for decades,” she said.
AB 1184 allows policyholders, including minors, to keep confidential the “sensitive services” of the policyholder, usually their parents.
The law requires insurance companies to “respond to requests for confidential disclosure of medical information”, regardless of whether “disclosure would put the individual at risk”. Scheduled to come into force in July 2022, the law specifically mentions “sexual and reproductive health” and “gender-affirming care” as potentially “sensitive services”.
California has a parental consent law for minors seeking an abortion, but the law is permanently enforced by a court order, which means minors in California can apply for an abortion without their knowledge or permission. their parents. Planned Parenthood provides resources for teens on how to hide abortions from their parents, Domingo noted.
AB 1356 was also signed on September 22, which prohibits filming or photographing patients or employees within 100 feet of an abortion clinic “with the specific intention of intimidating a person into she becomes or remains a reproductive health service patient, provider or assistant. ”Domingo said this law could affect pro-life activists and curbside counselors, who may simply want to film or photograph themselves and their children. work outside abortion clinics.
Domingo said laws like this reinforce the importance for parents and guardians of talking and building trust with their children, and encouraging them to seek advice from their parents in difficult situations.
“It’s really about having conversations in your own family and making sure your kids understand what your values are and understand that they can come and talk to you if they are in difficult situations,” said Domingo.
“If they know someone who has a situation, if they find themselves in a situation where they need help themselves, I think more than anything, it’s just a matter of continuing that conversation and s ” ensure that families are equipped to know what to do in these times, that our parishes are equipped to know what to do, so that if you find yourself in a situation where a young woman is in need, she knows who is ‘Address: Our Pregnancy Resource Centers and Pro-Life Pregnancy Clinics Statewide. “
Domingo said that while pro-abortion performative laws are likely to continue to be passed in California, supporting pro-life alternatives is the best way to fight them.
“It really is the work that is required. We can’t necessarily fight these laws that continue to make abortion worse in California, but we can do the grassroots efforts we’ve been making for nearly 50 years in California to help people one at a time and save families. one at a time.
A group of Republican lawmakers wrote to Newsom before he enacted the bills, urging him to veto them.
“We should encourage parents and families to get involved in their children’s lives, without taking them further away,” said the letter, which was signed by nine state senators.
They also argued, more pragmatically, that AB 1184 would place policyholders in an “impossible position” of being financially responsible for bills incurred by their dependent children, but that they have no way of verifying. due to the new privacy rules.
Newsom’s office announced the laws as strengthening California’s status as a “safe haven” for women seeking abortions.
“This action comes in the wake of attacks on sexual health care and reproductive rights across the country, including the failure of the United States Supreme Court to block Texas abortion ban after six weeks, “a statement from Newsom’s office read, referring to a pro-life law in that state that went into effect on September 1.
“California is a national leader in reproductive and sexual health protection and rights, and Governor Newsom’s actions today make it clear that the state will remain a safe haven for all Californians and those from across the country. out of state seeking reproductive health services here. ”