AB 775, Chiu. Reproductive FACT Act.
Existing law, the Reproductive Privacy Act, provides that every individual possesses a fundamental right of privacy with respect to reproductive decisions. Existing law provides that the state shall not deny or interfere with a woman’s right to choose or obtain an abortion prior to viability of the fetus, as defined, or when necessary to protect her life or health. Existing law specifies the circumstances under which the performance of an abortion is deemed unauthorized.
This bill would enact the Reproductive FACT (Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care, and Transparency) Act, which would require a licensed covered facility, as defined, to disseminate a notice to all clients, as specified, stating, among other things, that California has public programs that provide immediate free or low-cost access to comprehensive family planning services, prenatal care, and abortion, for eligible women. The bill would also require an unlicensed covered facility, as defined, to disseminate a notice to all clients, as specified, stating, among other things, that the facility is not licensed as a medical facility by the State of California.
The bill would authorize the Attorney General, city attorney, or county counsel to bring an action to impose a specified civil penalty against covered facilities that fail to comply with these requirements.
The people of the State of California do enact as follows:
The Legislature finds and declares that:
(a) All California women, regardless of income, should have access to reproductive health services. The state provides insurance coverage of reproductive health care and counseling to eligible, low-income women. Some of these programs have been recently established or expanded as a result of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
(b) Millions of California women are in need of publicly funded family planning services, contraception services and education, abortion services, and prenatal care and delivery. In 2012, more than 2.6 million California women were in need of publicly funded family planning services. More than 700,000 California women become pregnant every year and one-half of these pregnancies are unintended. In 2010, 64.3 percent of unplanned births in California were publicly funded. Yet, at the moment they learn that they are pregnant, thousands of women remain unaware of the public programs available to provide them with contraception, health education and counseling, family planning, prenatal care, abortion, or delivery.
(c) Because pregnancy decisions are time sensitive, and care early in pregnancy is important, California must supplement its own efforts to advise women of its reproductive health programs. In California, low-income women can receive immediate access to free or low-cost comprehensive family planning services and pregnancy-related care through the Medi-Cal and the Family PACT programs. However, only Medi-Cal providers who are enrolled in the Family PACT program are authorized to enroll patients immediately at their health centers.
(d) The most effective way to ensure that women quickly obtain the information and services they need to make and implement timely reproductive decisions is to require licensed health care facilities that are unable to immediately enroll patients into the Family PACT or Presumptive Eligibility for Pregnant Women Medi-Cal programs to advise each patient at the time of her visit of the various publicly funded family planning and pregnancy-related resources available in California, and the manner in which to directly and efficiently access those resources.
(e) It is also vital that pregnant women in California know when they are getting medical care from licensed professionals. Unlicensed facilities that advertise and provide pregnancy testing and care must advise clients, at the time they are seeking or obtaining care, that these facilities are not licensed to provide medical care.
The purpose of this act is to ensure that California residents make their personal reproductive health care decisions knowing their rights and the health care services available to them.
Article 2.7 (commencing with Section 123470) is added to Chapter 2 of Part 2 of Division 106 of the Health and Safety Code, to read:
This article shall be known and may be cited as the Reproductive FACT (Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care, and Transparency) Act or Reproductive FACT Act.
(a) For purposes of this article, and except as provided in subdivision (c), “licensed covered facility” means a facility licensed under Section 1204 or an intermittent clinic operating under a primary care clinic pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1206, whose primary purpose is providing family planning or pregnancy-related services, and that satisfies two or more of the following:
(1) The facility offers obstetric ultrasounds, obstetric sonograms, or prenatal care to pregnant women.
(2) The facility provides, or offers counseling about, contraception or contraceptive methods.
(3) The facility offers pregnancy testing or pregnancy diagnosis.
(4) The facility advertises or solicits patrons with offers to provide prenatal sonography, pregnancy tests, or pregnancy options counseling.
(5) The facility offers abortion services.
(6) The facility has staff or volunteers who collect health information from clients.
(b) For purposes of this article, subject to subdivision (c), “unlicensed covered facility” is a facility that is not licensed by the State of California and does not have a licensed medical provider on staff or under contract who provides or directly supervises the provision of all of the services, whose primary purpose is providing pregnancy-related services, and that satisfies two or more of the following:
(1) The facility offers obstetric ultrasounds, obstetric sonograms, or prenatal care to pregnant women.
(2) The facility offers pregnancy testing or pregnancy diagnosis.
(3) The facility advertises or solicits patrons with offers to provide prenatal sonography, pregnancy tests, or pregnancy options counseling.
(4) The facility has staff or volunteers who collect health information from clients.
(c) This article shall not apply to either of the following:
(1) A clinic directly conducted, maintained, or operated by the United States or any of its departments, officers, or agencies.
(2) A licensed primary care clinic that is enrolled as a Medi-Cal provider and a provider in the Family Planning, Access, Care, and Treatment Program.
(a) A licensed covered facility shall disseminate to clients on site the following notice in English and in the primary threshold languages for Medi-Cal beneficiaries as determined by the State Department of Health Care Services for the county in which the facility is located.
(1) The notice shall state:
“California has public programs that provide immediate free or low-cost access to comprehensive family planning services (including all FDA-approved methods of contraception), prenatal care, and abortion for eligible women. To determine whether you qualify, contact the county social services office at [insert the telephone number].”
(2) The information shall be disclosed in one of the following ways:
(A) A public notice posted in a conspicuous place where individuals wait that may be easily read by those seeking services from the facility. The notice shall be at least 8.5 inches by 11 inches and written in no less than 22-point type.
(B) A printed notice distributed to all clients in no less than 14-point type.
(C) A digital notice distributed to all clients that can be read at the time of check-in or arrival, in the same point type as other digital disclosures. A printed notice as described in subparagraph (B) shall be available for all clients who cannot or do not wish to receive the information in a digital format.
(3) The notice may be combined with other mandated disclosures.
(b) An unlicensed covered facility shall disseminate to clients on site and in any print and digital advertising materials including Internet Web sites, the following notice in English and in the primary threshold languages for Medi-Cal beneficiaries as determined by the State Department of Health Care Services for the county in which the facility is located.
(1) The notice shall state: “This facility is not licensed as a medical facility by the State of California and has no licensed medical provider who provides or directly supervises the provision of services.”
(2) The onsite notice shall be a sign at least 8.5 inches by 11 inches and written in no less than 48-point type, and shall be posted conspicuously in the entrance of the facility and at least one additional area where clients wait to receive services.
(3) The notice in the advertising material shall be clear and conspicuous. “Clear and conspicuous” means in larger point type than the surrounding text, or in contrasting type, font, or color to the surrounding text of the same size, or set off from the surrounding text of the same size by symbols or other marks that call attention to the language.
(a) Covered facilities that fail to comply with the requirements of this article are liable for a civil penalty of five hundred dollars ($500) for a first offense and one thousand dollars ($1,000) for each subsequent offense. The Attorney General, city attorney, or county counsel may bring an action to impose a civil penalty pursuant to this section after doing both of the following:
(1) Providing the covered facility with reasonable notice of noncompliance, which informs the facility that it is subject to a civil penalty if it does not correct the violation within 30 days from the date the notice is sent to the facility.
(2) Verifying that the violation was not corrected within the 30-day period described in paragraph (1).
(b) The civil penalty shall be deposited into the General Fund if the action is brought by the Attorney General. If the action is brought by a city attorney, the civil penalty shall be paid to the treasurer of the city in which the judgment is entered. If the action is brought by a county counsel, the civil penalty shall be paid to the treasurer of the county in which the judgment is entered.
The provisions of this act are severable. If any provision of this act or its application is held invalid, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application.