Part Three in the State of Abortion Series explains current California state pro abortion bills that help abortion providers and hurt pro life clinics.
Ronald Brownstein in his Los Angeles Times article “As California Goes, So Goes the Nation, Alas” observed California is the political harbinger of things to come. If so, the current crop of California state pro abortion bills coming out of the Democrat controlled legislature is chilling.
Free Abortions For All
SB 245 will force all insurance plans to cover 100% of the cost of an abortion. No copays. No medical management restrictions. Here’s what’s wrong with SB 245:
- SB 245 is discriminatory. It excludes pregnant women planning to parent their babies, or women seeking to adopt. It requires insurance pay for health services only for women who want to abort. Most pregnancies naturally end in birth. Why exclude childbirth from the list of services?
- SB 245 is inconsistent. Why does abortion get such special treatment? Why not demand insurance coverage for all sorts of “women’s health” issues like breast cancer treatments, Pap smears, hysterectomies, fertility treatments, tubal ligations?
- Sb 245 is sexist. It is a special carve out for abortion, a medical procedure only women use to exercise their “reproductive rights”. Why not cover men’s “reproductive rights” like fertility issues, erectile dysfunction, and vasectomy reversals, or sex change operations for men who want to become women?
- SB 245 erodes federal law. The Weldon Amendment clearly says that health plans are not required to cover or pay for abortion.
Free Contraception For All
SB 523 is SB 245’s fat, ugly twin sister. It will force all insurance plans to cover the cost of contraceptives. (Will that include prescriptions for the pill, tubal ligations, IUDs, or sterilization procedures such as hysterectomies and vasectomies? Just asking.) Willful violation of the bill’s requirements by a health care service plan would be a crime. Like SB 245, the ugly twin sister bill is yet another way government forces soft tyranny on private business through legislation.
Make Pro Life Speech a Crime
To muzzle pro life advocates, California legislators are pushing SB 742. It uses the pandemic to erode the First Amendment right to speak. This bill criminalizes any protesting within 300 feet of any vaccination site. That’s the length of a football field, or about a block away.
Vaccinations sites include any place where any type of vaccination happens like hospitals, or a doctor’s office, or a clinic or even a pop-up type vaccine site in a retail space nearby. If you are protesting within 300 feet of a Walmart that gives vaccinations for shingles, you will be violating SB 742.
SB 742 doesn’t define what “protest activities” means. So, handing out pro-life materials, carrying pro-life signs, or praying the rosary outside a hospital, an abortion facility, an abortionist’s office, or a Planned Parenthood office near a Walmart could be protest activities. Protestors risk jail and fines.
Make Pro Life Advocates into Criminals
Another bill, AB 1356, makes it a crime to publicize pictures or video from outside an abortion facility. It provides no exceptions for journalistic work, or even for self defense. AB 1356 extends the right to privacy to include the public square outside abortion businesses.
Photographs and video are forms of speech. The First Amendment protects the right to take photographs or videos while in the public square. The First Amendment protects political debate and advocacy, especially on hot button issues like abortion. The California legislature wants to change that.
AB 1356 gives special protection to abortion workers and their customers from being photographed. It says that filming people in public outside the abortion business is intimidating. The bill would make pro life advocates into criminals for videotaping assaults committed in broad daylight in the public square – simply because of where they occurred.
Within the last two months alone, pro life volunteers at the Right to Life League of Southern California faced intimidation and violence during the 40 Days for Life campaign in front of an abortion facility in Pasadena, California. Prayer warriors were threatened with a yard stake, and a knife, pelted with raw eggs, and had signs forcibly ripped from their hands and stolen.
If these events happened anywhere else, victims could film and publicize the criminal behavior. Consider tragic example of George Floyd. Imagine if we made it a crime — punishable by jail, huge fines, and lawsuits — to record and post on social media videos of police misconduct.
AB 1356 does just that, making it a crime for peaceful people to film and publicize attacks outside an abortion facility. It doesn’t matter what the filming shows. It doesn’t matter why. It only matters if pro life people film pro abort people outside the location and publicize it. Ironically, the bill ignores the fact that violence is most often directed at pro-life advocates.
And all because pro aborts don’t want women to hear that abortion is not the only answer to their fears.
The Good News in California: Pro Life People Save Mothers and Babies from Abortion
Formed in 1967, the Right to Life League of Southern California is America’s first pro life organization. The League is the tip of the spear in California, defending the unborn since before Roe v. Wade was decided. This excerpt comes from one of the League’s recent newsletters:
For eight solid hours on one Friday this year, dozens of men, women, and children prayed and witnessed outside the Planned Parenthood office directly across the street from the League’s office–many of them standing in the pouring rain.
The Right to Life League’s Pasadena Sidewalk Advocates are a slew of prayer warriors. High school students from St. Monica Academy in Montrose stopped by after taking their last exam of Finals Week. A pastor from nearby Mt. Olive Lutheran Church and a representative from the famed Grace Church of Sun Valley, whose lawsuit against the State of California was affirmed by the Supreme Court, also joined us in prayer.
While our volunteers come from different churches, each of them shares the same sense of calling. “I have to admit, the first time I came to the sidewalk I felt extremely uncomfortable. Then the third time I came, a woman pulled her car over, and came right up to me. I thought to myself, I can let her vent, and braced myself,” said volunteer Julia Boles.
“Instead she thanked me and said, ’18 years ago I came to this clinic to abort my third child. Because I saw people on the sidewalk, I couldn’t go through with it. My 18- year-old daughter is alive because people were here. Thank you for doing this.’ That was my sign from God that He’s calling me to be here on the sidewalk.”
Try as they might, California state pro abortion bills will not stop pro life supporters from defending the right to life of each unborn person. Abortion is a death sentence. We can never raise the white flag of truce because abortion takes no prisoners. We must conquer death. Being pro life is being on God’s side.
Let’s pray that Mr. Brownstein’s observations prove true for California-based pro life advocacy to defeat pending abortion legislation across the nation.
Elisabeth Deffner contributed to this series.