BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                      HR 32

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          Date of Hearing:   January 15, 2016

                           ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY

                                  Mark Stone, Chair

          HR 32  
          (Atkins) - As Introduced January 5, 2016

          SUBJECT:  Women's Reproductive Health



          This resolution, similar to others passed by this Committee in  
          previous years, urges the President and Congress of the United  
          States to express their support for a woman's fundamental right  
          to control her own reproductive decisions, and to support access  
          to comprehensive reproductive health care, including care  
          provided by Planned Parenthood.  This resolution also makes  
          findings regarding the importance of Roe v. Wade, reproductive  
          rights, and reaffirms California's strong support of a woman's  
          right to choose.

          SUMMARY:  Urges the President and Congress to support a woman's  
          fundamental right to control her own reproductive decisions, and  


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          to support access to comprehensive reproductive health care,  
          including services provided by Planned Parenthood.   
          Specifically, this resolution makes the following findings:  

          1)January 22nd, 2016 marks the 43rd anniversary of the landmark  
            United States Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, which  
            affirmed that every woman has a fundament right to control her  
            own reproductive decisions - an occasion deserving of  

          2)Roe v. Wade has been the cornerstone of the rights of women to  
            control their reproductive lives, and to decide whether to end  
            or to continue pregnancy.

          3)Roe v. Wade has drastically reduced the maternal mortality  
            rate for women terminating their pregnancies in the United  

          4)Prior to Roe v. Wade, illegal abortions accounted for  
            approximately 17% of all reported deaths attributable to  
            pregnancy and childbirth, and many women were severely injured  
            as a result of "back alley" abortion procedures.

          5)Interference with a woman's right to choose causes women to be  
            forced into illegal and dangerous abortions, a common incident  
            prior to Roe v. Wade.

          6)Thirteen percent of the world's maternal deaths are attributed  
            to countries where abortion is illegal and unsafe-the  
            equivalent of eight maternal deaths every hour.

          7)Roe v. Wade continues to protect the health and freedom of  


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            women throughout the United States.

          8)The State of California stands in strong support of every  
            woman's fundamental right to make her own decisions regarding  
            her pregnancy, as confirmed in Roe v. Wade.

          EXISTING LAW:

          1)Recognizes a right to privacy under the United States  
            Constitution.  (Boyd v. United States (1886) 116 U.S. 616;  
            Meyer v. Nebraska (1923) 262 U.S. 390; Griswold v. Connecticut  
            (1965) 381 U.S. 479; Lawrence v. Texas (2003) 539 U.S. 558.)

          2)Explicitly provides for the right to privacy under the  
            California Constitution.  (California Constitution, Article I,  
            Section 1.)

          3)Holds that the constitutionally protected right to privacy  
            limits a state's power to restrict a woman's fundamental right  
            to terminate a pregnancy.  (Roe v. Wade (1973) 410 U.S. 113.)

          FISCAL EFFECT:  As currently in print this resolution is keyed  

          COMMENTS:  This resolution honors the upcoming anniversary of  
          the landmark United States Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade.   
          In 1973, the Supreme Court held, in Roe v. Wade (1973) 410 U.S.  
          113, that the constitutional right to privacy extends to a  
          woman's decision whether to terminate a pregnancy, while  
          acknowledging that some state regulation was permissible.  In  
          that case, "Jane Roe," an unmarried Texas woman, wanted to end  
          her pregnancy under safe and clinical conditions, but was unable  


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          to receive an abortion unless her life was threatened by the  
          continuation of the pregnancy, as provided under Texas state  
          law.  Unable to travel to another state to obtain an abortion,  
          she challenged the Texas criminal statutes that prohibited the  
          performance and procurement of an abortion except when a woman's  
          life was at stake; she argued that the state law abridged her  
          right of personal privacy.  The Supreme Court struck down the  
          Texas law, and held that the constitutional right to privacy "is  
          broad enough to encompass a woman's decision whether or not to  
          terminate her pregnancy." (Id. at 155.)

          Roe v. Wade is a natural extension of the constitutional  
          principles behind the right to privacy.  The United States  
          Supreme Court has long recognized the constitutional protection  
          of the right of privacy.  (See, e.g., Boyd v. United States  
          (1886) 116 U.S. 616.)  That privacy right has been extended to  
          marital, sexual, and familial matters.  (See, e.g., Meyer v.  
          Nebraska (1923) 262 U.S. 390; Griswold v. Connecticut (1965) 381  
          U.S. 479; Lawrence v. Texas (2003) 539 U.S. 558.)  In Roe v.  
          Wade, the Court held that the right to privacy also extended to  
          a woman's decision as to whether to terminate a pregnancy.  At  
          the same time, the Court provided two state interests that are  
          sufficiently compelling to justify restrictions on a woman's  
          right to choose to terminate a pregnancy: (1) a state may  
          regulate the abortion procedure after the first trimester of  
          pregnancy in ways reasonably related to promote a woman's  
          health; and (2) after the point of fetal viability, a state may,  
          to protect the potential life of the fetus, prohibit abortions  
          that are not necessary to preserve a woman's life or health.

          Roe v. Wade has been the subject of much debate, both political  
          and legal.  Indeed, the application and validity of the decision  
          has been frequently challenged in court.  In 1992, in Planned  
          Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey (1992) 505 U.S.  
          833, the Supreme Court reaffirmed Roe v. Wade, and provided  
          reasoning for why it once again upheld Roe:


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               [F]or two decades of economic and social developments,  
               people have organized intimate relationships and made  
               choices that define their views of themselves and their  
               places in society, in reliance on the availability of  
               abortion in the event that contraception should fail.  The  
               ability of women to participate equally in the economic and  
               social life of the Nation has been facilitated by their  
               ability to control their reproductive lives.  The  
               Constitution serves human values, and while the effect of  
               reliance on Roe cannot be exactly measured, neither can the  
               certain cost of overruling Roe for people who have ordered  
               their thinking and living around that case be dismissed.   
               (Casey at 856 [internal citations omitted].)

          Research shows that Roe v. Wade has saved women's lives.   
          According to an article, "The Public Health Impact of Legal  
          Abortion: 30 Years Later," published by the Guttmacher  

               The number of abortion-related deaths per million live  
               births fell from nearly 40 in 1970 to 8 in 1976. The trend  
               was caused mainly by a decline in the absolute number of  
               deaths from illegal abortion-especially after Roe v.  
               Wade-from 39 in 1972 to 2 in 1976.  After 1975, mortality  
               due to legally induced abortion also fell-from more than 3  
               deaths per 100,000 abortions in 1975 to about 1 in 1976 and  
               even fewer thereafter.  (Cates et al., Comment: The Public  
               Health Impact of Legal Abortion: 30 Years Later  
               (January/February 2003) 35 Perspectives on Sexual and  
               Reproductive Health 1.) 

          Indeed, between 1978 and 2010, the abortion-related mortality  
          rate has fallen to less than 1 death per 100,000 abortions.   
          (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Abortion  
          Surveillance - United States, 2011 (November 28, 2014).)


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          Even in the face of these maternal mortality numbers, there have  
          been efforts-federally and in other states-to restrict access to  
          abortion and to limit a woman's fundamental right to choose.   
          Last year on the federal level, the U.S. House of  
          Representatives passed House Resolution 3134, known as the  
          Defund Planned Parenthood Act of 2015, to prohibit Planned  
          Parenthood and its clinics from receiving any federal funds  
          unless it stopped providing abortions, even though existing law  
          already prohibited the use of federal funds to pay for abortion  
          services.  Meanwhile, in Texas, the state enacted House Bill 2,  
          which, among other things, requires abortion clinics to comply  
          with standards set for ambulatory surgical centers-requirements  
          that the opponents to the law argue would shut down 75% of the  
          state's health clinics and significantly limit clinic access for  
          women in rural areas.  (Petition for a Writ of Certiorari at  
          1-8, Whole Woman's Health v. Cole (5th Cir. 2015) 790 F.3d 563,  
          No. 14-50928.)  Supporters of a woman's right to choose have  
          challenged the constitutionality of that Texas statute, which  
          the United States Supreme Court will hear later this year.   
          (Whole Woman's Health v. Cole (5th Cir. 2015) 790 F.3d 563,  
          cert. granted Nov. 13, 2015, No. 15-274, __ U.S. __ [136 S.Ct.  
          499, 193 L.Ed.2d 364].)  In fact, the State of California has  
          co-authored an amicus brief with other states to support Whole  
          Woman's Health's challenge to the Texas law restricting access  
          to abortion services.

          Despite these efforts outside of California, California  
          continues its long history of protecting the privacy rights of  
          all Californians.  Under California's Constitution, Californians  
          are explicitly given the right to privacy: "All people are by  
          nature free and independent and have inalienable rights. Among  
          these are enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring,  
          possessing, and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining  
          safety, happiness, and privacy." (Article I, Section 1.)   
          Indeed, this privacy right has been interpreted to provide  
          greater protection of a woman's right to choose than that  


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          provided under the federal Constitution.  (American Academy of  
          Pediatrics v. Lungren (1997) 16 Cal.4th 307, 327.)  

          Consistent with California's laws and policies, this resolution  
          would convey to the President and the U.S. Congress that the  
          California Legislature supports a woman's fundamental right to  
          control her own reproductive decisions and access to  
          comprehensive reproductive health care, including services  
          provided by Planned Parenthood, and therefore honors the  
          landmark Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade.  

          ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT:  Planned Parenthood Affiliates of  
          California, in support of the resolution, states the following:

               The ruling in Roe v. Wade cemented the right for women to  
               control their own reproductive lives, and eliminated the  
               need for women to receive unsafe, illegal abortion  
               procedures. Many women who underwent these risky abortion  
               procedures suffered serious injuries or died as a result.  
               By cementing women's reproductive rights, the Roe v. Wade  
               decision eliminated the need for women to seek unsafe,  
               illegal abortion procedures.

          ARGUMENTS IN OPPOSITION:  The California Right to Life  
          Committee, Inc., in opposition to the resolution, writes that HR  
          32: "[indirectly] demands that Planned Parenthood's coffers  
          continue to be supplied with the public dollar?.Planned  
          Parenthood has now been exposed for its callous disregard for  
          human life, both male and female, and for its acknowledgement of  
          financial benefit from the sale of baby body parts. Tax payers  
          should demand that no more monies go to further the horror story  
          of the dismemberment and torture of preborn babies by Planned  


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          Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California


          California Right to Life Committee, Inc.

          Analysis Prepared by:Eric Dang / JUD. / (916) 319-2334