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The California Flag

Last month, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a package of nine reproductive health care bills, following the passage of fifteen such bills in 2022. While the state should be lauded for its efforts, it has come up short. Recent legislation largely excludes up to 25% of the adult population: Californians with disabilities.

People with disabilities in the U.S. experience wide disparities in accessing reproductive health care, rooted in a long history of oppressive reproductive control. California should take action now to address these disparities and fulfil its goal of becoming a “reproductive freedom state” for all.

This article will examine recent movement on reproductive health care legislation in California, explain its failure to meet the needs of Californians with disabilities, and suggest a path forward in line with principles of disability reproductive justice.

Where did the legislation come from?

The 2022 and 2023 reproductive justice bill packages in the California Legislature were based on recommendations from the California Future of Abortion Council (CA FAB). Created in September 2021, CA FAB brings together organizations to “identify barriers...